Colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure. It examines the inside of the large intestine. This is done using a special tool called an endoscope. This method can diagnose diseases. Like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. It finds benign (like polyps) and malignant growths. Also, it detects diverticula and can do a biopsy.
Reasons for routine diagnostic colonoscopy include:
- Presence of mucus and blood in stool
- Chronic diarrhea and constipation
- Abdominal pain along the colon, bloating
- Subfebrile temperature (slight fever over a long period) of unknown origin
- Weight loss
- Anemia of unknown origin
Preparing for a Colonoscopy:
PREPARATION STARTS A WEEK BEFORE THE PROCEDURE.
- Inform your doctor about any blood thinners you’re taking. This is crucial for the safety of the procedure (e.g., apixaban, rivaroxaban, dabigatran, clopidogrel).
- It’s important to tell your doctor about any drug allergies and chronic illnesses.
- For a successful colonoscopy, the bowel must be clean. Follow a low-fiber diet and use special laxative solutions.
- Stop taking iron supplements seven days before the procedure.
- Purchase the necessary medications for bowel cleansing from a pharmacy. Your doctor will provide a prescription.
- Adhere to the recommended diet before the colonoscopy.
These steps will help you prepare effectively and safely. Always follow your doctor’s instructions and ask questions if anything is unclear.
Diet Before Colonoscopy:
AT LEAST FOUR DAYS BEFORE THE EXAMINATION:
- Exclude high-fiber foods from your diet. This includes fruits, berries with small seeds, root vegetables, vegetables, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
- Your diet can include white fish, boiled chicken, pork, beef, dairy products, eggs, cheese, jelly, broth without vegetables, and ice cream.
ONE DAY BEFORE THE COLONOSCOPY:
- It is recommended not to eat. In the morning, you may drink fat-free clear broth. For lunch, suitable options are jelly, frozen juices, and clear gummy candies. Do not eat anything from lunchtime until the start of the colonoscopy.
- Drink plenty of fluids: filtered tea or coffee, water, mineral water, pulp-free apple juice, and lemonade. Avoid red-colored beverages.
- If needed: if you feel weak, add sugar to tea or coffee.
- Drink 1-1.5 liters of water a day before the examination, including mineral water.
Following these guidelines will help you prepare most effectively for the colonoscopy and ensure accurate results.
Bowel Cleansing Before the Procedure:
ONE DAY BEFORE THE EXAMINATION:
- Choose a cleansing solution: use a doctor-approved solution, like Fortrans, Eziclen, Moviprep, or Picoprep. Follow the instructions carefully, considering the timing before the procedure.
- Start cleansing your bowel after lunch if your procedure is in the morning. If the colonoscopy is after lunch, split the solution into two parts. Drink half in the evening and the other half in the morning, 4-5 hours before the procedure.
- You will need to drink 4 liters of the solution. It has a distinct salty-sweet taste and may cause nausea. To reduce discomfort, you can cool the solution or add lemon juice.
- Consult with your doctor before taking any medications, like for blood pressure or heart. Take them with water.
During the Examination:
- Visit the bathroom before the examination for final bowel cleansing.
- For the procedure, you will be asked to remove your lower garments and wear disposable pants.
- Lie on your back or left side with your knees bent during the examination. It’s important to relax.
- The doctor will gently insert the colonoscope through the rectum. It will be lubricated with gel for comfort.
- During the examination, water or carbon dioxide is introduced into the bowel to improve visibility. This may cause a feeling of bloating or some pain.
- If you feel discomfort or the urge to defecate, immediately inform the doctor. If needed, the doctor can use a relaxant or pain relief medication.
- The procedure is usually done without anesthesia. However, sedation can be used if necessary. This should be discussed in advance.
After the Colonoscopy:
AFTER A COLONOSCOPY UNDER SEDATION:
- You will be monitored by doctors for a while.
- Don’t drive on that day. Sedation can cause drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, and slowed reaction time. It’s better to come with someone who can help you get home, or use a taxi.
- Avoid planning any activities or tasks that require precision and attention for the rest of the day.
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS:
- You may feel abdominal pain, bloating, or excessive gas formation. These usually subside within a few hours.
- If bloating persists, consider using simethicone or activated charcoal.
DIET AFTER THE PROCEDURE:
- If the doctor agrees, you can eat and drink immediately after the examination.
- Don’t worry if there is no bowel movement the next day. It’s normal after bowel cleansing.
INFORMATION ABOUT RESULTS:
- The doctor will inform you about the initial results right after the examination.
- Tissue analysis results will be ready in about 4 weeks.
THE PROCEDURE IS CONDUCTED AT OUR CLINIC IN TALLINN.