Unfortunately, there is no easy way to prepare for a colonoscopy because all colonoscopies require an average of 16 hours worth of preparation, reports Harvard University. In fact, the frustratingly long and uncomfortable process is one reason why many people avoid getting a colonoscopy even though bowel cancer is usually treatable if caught early.
Patients wait until the situation becomes dire before they decide to undergo a colonoscopy. To prepare for the colonoscopy, patients have to start eating a new diet two to three days before the procedure, reports Harvard Medical School. This diet should be low in fiber without seeds, any kind of fruit, vegetables, nuts or grains. On the day before the procedure, patients should not eat any solid foods.
Patients will also need to prepare by drinking a liquid that induces diarrhea. This is necessary because the bowel has to be clean so that the instrument can "see" the interior of the colon to check for abnormalities, according to Harvard Medical School.
Each patient's doctor will recommend a number of options for the liquid. On the day of the procedure, the doctor will ask patients to relax and the tube will be inserted into the rectum and through the colon, according to WebMD. The area will be checked for tumors, inflammation, ulcers and colon polyps as well as bleeding.