What Should You Expect During a Colonoscopy Prep?


Quick Answer

In general, a patient going in for a colonoscopy can expect to start preparation a few days before the procedure by following certain diet restrictions, as stated by WebMD. The patient may be told to limit or totally avoid solid foods as well as drink certain liquids.

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Full Answer

A patient can also expect to take laxatives either the night before or the day of the exam, as stated by Mayo Clinic. On the day of the exam, the patient can expect to have her colon cleaned out further through the use of enemas, states WebMD. Up to two additional enemas may be given to clean out the colon and the lower part of the small intestine so that the doctor can examine it thoroughly.

A sedative may be administered to help the patient relax, according to Mayo Clinic. The patient may fall asleep during the procedure. The procedure begins with the doctor inserting the colonoscope and inflating the colon with air to obtain a better view of the lining of the colon. The procedure usually lasts 20 minutes to an hour. Afterward, the patient needs someone to drive her home. It can take 24 hours for the effects of the sedative to dissipate.

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