Colonoscopy

What is a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure used to examine the large intestine (colon) and rectum. Dr. Patel will insert a flexible, thin tube with a camera (colonoscope) through the rectum to inspect the colon's lining for abnormalities such as polyps or inflammation. Colonoscopy is crucial for detecting and preventing colorectal cancer, as it allows early detection and removal of precancerous growths (polyps), potentially saving lives. It's recommended for anyone over the age of 45 or those with a family history of colon cancer.

Why would I need a colonoscopy?

Most people get a colonoscopy as part of colon cancer screening. However, if you are presenting symptoms like abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, persistent constipation or diarrhea, your primary care doctor will recommend a colonoscopy or refer you directly to Dr. Patel for the procedure. Colonoscopies are essential for colon cancer screening (every 10 years if no polyps are found and no family history of colon cancer) and diagnosing various gastrointestinal conditions inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colitis.

What happens during a colonoscopy?

Prior to the colonoscopy, you will receive anesthesia/ sedation to ensure comfort. Doctor Patel will gently insert the colonoscope while monitoring the colon's lining on a screen. If any abnormalities are found, Doctor Patel may take tissue samples (biopsies) or remove polyps.

What happens after the procedure?

After the colonoscopy, you may experience some bloating or cramping due to the air introduced during the procedure. You will need someone to accompany you home or need a ride home since you are prohibited from driving after the procedure, as sedation may temporarily impair your judgment and reflexes. Dr. Patel will discuss the findings and any necessary follow-up care after your procedure is complete.

You may also notice a small amount of blood in your stool following your colonoscopy. This is normal. Should you, however, continue to bleed or develop persistent pain or fever, contact our office immediately at 949-298-7112 and go to your nearest emergency room.

Colonoscopy Key Instructions

Doctor Patel has scheduled you for a colonoscopy. To have a successful colonoscopy, your colon must be clear of any stool. Follow all of the instructions in this handout EXACTLY as they are written. If you do not follow the directions, your procedure may be canceled.

  • Do NOT eat solid food the ENTIRE day before your colonoscopy.
  • Buy your bowel preparation at least 5 days before your colonoscopy.
  • Do NOT mix the solution until the day before your colonoscopy.
  • A responsible family member or friend MUST drive you home from the procedure. You are NOT ALLOWED to drive, take a taxi, bus, or car service, or leave the Endoscopy Center ALONE. If you do not have a responsible driver (family member or friend) with you to take you home, your exam cannot be done with sedation and may be canceled. You MUST remain in the endoscopy center until you recover from sedation. The entire process from arrival to discharge may take 3-4 hours.
  • Please do not bring any jewelry or other valuable items to the endoscopy room for your procedure.
  • Please bring a list of known allergies, current medications, a list of medical conditions and surgical history.

Five (5) days before your colonoscopy

  • Do NOT take products that contain iron -- such as multi-vitamins -- (the label lists what is in the products).

You need to buy the following (no prescription needed):

  • One 64-ounce or two 32-ounce bottles of Gatorade, Propel®, Crystal Light® or other noncarbonated clear liquid drink (no red, no orange, no purple). If you have diabetes, you may use sugar-free Gatorade.
  • Dulcolax® (bisacodyl) laxative tablets (not suppository or stool softener, you will need 3 tablets for the prep).
  • MiraLAX® 238 grams (8.3 ounces) powder or generic polyethylene glycol 3350 (can find in laxative section).

Three (3) days before your colonoscopy

  • Avoid high-fiber foods -- such as popcorn, beans, seeds (flax, sunflower, and quinoa), multigrain bread, nuts, salad/vegetables, fresh and dried fruit. Avoid fiber supplements -- such as Metamucil®, Citrucel®, or Konsyl®.

One day before your colonoscopy

  • Only drink clear liquids the ENTIRE DAY before your colonoscopy. Do NOT eat any solid foods. The clear liquids you can drink include:
  • Water, apple, or white grape juice; fat free broth; coffee or tea (without milk or creamer); clear carbonated beverages such as ginger ale or lemon-lime soda; Gatorade® or other sports drinks (not red); Kool-Aid® or other flavored drinks (not red). You may eat plain Jello or other gelatins (not red) or popsicles (not red).
  • Do NOT drink alcohol on the day before or the day of the procedure.

When to Drink Your Bowel Prep:

The day before your colonoscopy:

In a pitcher, mix the 8.3 ounces of MiraLAX® with the 64 ounces of Gatorade®. Stir/shake the contents until the entire contents of MiraLAX® are completely dissolved. Chill if desired. Do NOT add ice, sugar or any other flavorings to the solution.

Morning Appointment (Before 12 noon)

OPTION 1 - Split dosing Prep (split dose is considered best option).

Step 1.

  • At 5 p.m., take 3 tablets of Dulcolax® laxative pill with water by mouth.
  • At 7 p.m., drink the first half of the Gatorade®/MiraLAX® solution. Drink one 8-ounce glass every 10 minutes. You may drink it directly or through a straw. You may continue to drink clear liquids only until midnight.

Step 2.

The day of the colonoscopy (4 hours before your scheduled exam).
  • Take the second half of the Gatorade®/MiraLAX® solution. Drink one 8-ounce glass every 10 minutes until completed. Please do not consume anything else by mouth after the Gatorade/MiraLAX solution is completed.

OPTION 1 - Split dosing Prep (split dose is considered best option).

  • At 6 p.m., take 3 tablets of Dulcolax® laxative pill with water by mouth.
  • At 8 p.m. the evening before your colonoscopy start drinking the Gatorade®/MiraLAX® solution. Drink one 8-ounce glass every 10 minutes until completed. You can continue to drink clear liquids until midnight. Please do not consume anything by mouth after midnight.

Afternoon Appointments (After 12 noon)

  • At 6 a.m. take 3 tablets of Dulcolax® laxative pill with water by mouth.
  • At 7 a.m. start drinking the Gatorade®/MiraLAX® solution. Drink one 8-ounce glass every 10 minutes until completed. Make sure you finish by 10a.m.
  • You may continue to drink clear liquids up to 3 hours before the time of your exam.
kumkumpatelmd

Kumkum Patel MD, MPH

Board-certified Gastroenterologist.
IBS and Motility Specialist

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