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Why should you follow a colonoscopy preparation diet?

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Quick Answer

A colonoscopy preparation diet helps to clear out the colon prior to the procedure, which is necessary for a full and unobstructed view of the colon, states WebMD. An unobstructed view allows the doctor to find and identify any perforations, tumors or other issues within the colon.

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Full Answer

A colonoscopy preparation diet usually prescribes the reduction or the complete elimination of high-fiber foods for a few days prior to the procedure. A preparation mixture or laxative is also prescribed to clear out the colon completely. In some cases, doctors may require patients to go on a liquid diet for one to three days before the colonoscopy, states WebMD. Foods allowed on a liquid diet may include clear soups, plain coffee or tea, and gelatin.

It is important that patients follow the doctor's instructions precisely prior to the colonoscopy to ensure the best possible results. With the colon completely cleared, the doctor performing the procedure can identify abnormalities, such as polyps or abnormal growths. If the doctor does identify such an abnormality, he can perform a biopsy to determine whether the growth is cancerous and in need of further attention, notes WebMD.

After the completion of the colonoscopy, the individual can return to his normal diet, states WebMD.

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