Colonoscopy Preparation and Procedure
Colorectal Cancer Screenings Save Lives
Did you know that colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and women in the United States? In 2018 alone, over 50,000 people died of colon cancer. If you are over the age of 45 and haven’t had a colonoscopy, it is time that you did.
A colonoscopy is a procedure that enables your gastroenterologist to see the inner lining of your rectum and colon. When looking inside your entire large intestine they will look to see things such as inflamed tissue, abnormal growths, and ulcers. During the procedure, a long, flexible tube with a camera is inserted into the anus and through the colon. It is most often used to look for early signs of cancer in the colon and rectum. In addition, it is used to look for causes of unexplained changes in bowel habits and to evaluate symptoms like abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, and weight loss.
At Philadelphia Gastroenterology Consultants, we are proud to have decades of in-depth experience with providing trusted diagnosis and testing to our patients, and we are dedicated to compassionate, professional care. We are a highly trained team of board-certified gastroenterologists and hepatologists that offer cutting-edge technology for many of the procedures we perform.
To schedule your colonoscopy appointment today, call us at (215) 742-9900.
When To Get a Colonoscopy
A colonoscopy may be done for a variety of reasons, including:
- Routine check for colon tumors
- Routine check for colon polyps
- Investigate abdominal pain
- Investigate blood in the stool
- Investigate frequent diarrhea
- Routine check up if you have a family history of colon polyps or colon cancer
It is suggested that all people undergo a routine colonoscopy around age 50 and every ten years thereafter to catch polyps before they turn cancerous.
How to Prepare for a Colonoscopy
Prior to receiving a colonoscopy, the colon must be completely cleaned for the colonoscopy to be thorough and safe. To prepare for the colonoscopy you must follow a liquid diet one day before your procedure. Your physician in Philadelphia will give you the following information to prepare for your procedure:
- Stop eating solid foods and drink only clear fluids one to two days before the colonoscopy. Some approved foods and liquids include water, tea, coffee, cleared broths and gelatin.
- The night before the procedure, you will take a prescription laxative tablet or solution. The laxative will be mixed with one gallon of water. Depending on the time of your procedure, you may choose to drink half the solution the night before and half in the morning.
- To completely clear out the colon, an enema 30 to 60 minutes before the test may be necessary.
- To avoid dehydration, drink plenty of fluids while preparing for your procedure.
- Stop drinking clear liquids six to eight hours prior to the procedure.
What to Do After the Procedure
When you are fully awake, you will be released from our office in Philadelphia where the procedure was performed. Depending on the amount of anesthesia that you were given, you might not be able to operate machinery for up to 12 hours. Patients are allowed to eat normal foods and are required to drink a lot of fluids after testing to replace the water that was lost in the colonoscopy preparation process.
To schedule an appointment with Philadelphia Gastroenterology Consultants for your colon cancer screening, call us at (215) 742-9900.