Before Your Colonoscopy: Proper Bowel Preparation

Prior to your colonoscopy, your colon and rectal specialist will provide you with a short to-do list that you will complete the day prior to your examination. While many patients comply with their physician’s guidelines, others do not follow the guidelines correctly. Inadequate preparation of the bowel could result in reduced efficiency of the colonoscopy examination. A recent study has found that pre-cancerous polyps in Los Angeles could go undetected during a colonoscopy exam if the patient did not properly cleanse the bowel the night before the colonoscopy.

A team of researchers recently reported in the journal of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy that many physicians are unable to view pre-cancerous lesions in the colon in about one-third of patients who did not adequately prepare for their colonoscopy. This is an unnecessary risk for patients who are undergoing a colonoscopy, and highlights the necessity of following your physician’s instructions closely prior to your exam.

The day prior to your colonoscopy it is important to begin your preparation diet. You will not be able to consume solid food, and will be limited to only clear liquids. Then, the night before your procedure you will be asked to drink a bowel cleansing fluid. The bowel cleansing fluid is not as effective if you have not followed the prexcribed diet prior to drinking the fluid, and it is important not to skip these preparations.

The early-detection of colorectal cancer is crucial for successful treatment. By not preparing properly for your exam you could be putting yourself at an increased risk for a delayed diagnosis. Speak with your colorectal specialist about how to prepare for your colonoscopy. Follow the directions closely for the best results from your screening examination.