Colonoscopy – making the best of your bowel preparation
Many people will tell you that the worst part about having a colonoscopy is actually the day before the test – when you need to take the bowel preparation!
To make a colonoscopy worthwhile, your specialist really needs to have a very good clear view to be able to give you the answers you need.
The effectiveness of the cleansing is a critical factor affecting the SAFETY, ACCURACY, DIFFICULTY and SPEED of the examination. If, for example, the preparation is excellent, this can mean that you will need LESS FREQUENT screening tests.
Over the years, there have been improvements made to the quality and results of available bowel preparations. These include :
- Reduced fasting times – patients may drink liquids up until 4 hours before their anaesthetic
- Different flavours to suit different tastes
- Split preps – improve visibility
- Introduction of the white diet the day prior to your test
This refers to the administration of half of the cleansing agent the evening prior to the colonoscopy, and the second half the morning of the colonoscopy. The morning dose can safely be taken between 4-6 hours before your scheduled colonoscopy.
Your specialist will provide you with detailed information regarding the best timing of your preparation doses according to the timing of your colonoscopy.
Top tips on how to make the bowel preparation more palatable:
- COLD is best – chill the solution before drinking
- Try a STRAW
- Suck on LEMON slices
- HYDRATE HYDRATE HYDRATE – drinking healthy salty fluids (eg, chicken stock) before you start your prep will mean you are more likely to tolerate the prep without any trouble
Top tips on how to get the best results from your prep:
- HYDRATE HYDRATE HYDRATE
- Avoid seeds, nuts, skins of fruit and vegetables for three days before your colonoscopy
- Read your instructions as soon as you get them so you are WELL PREPARED
- If you know you have a slow or sluggish bowel, speak to your specialist before your test – your prep can be adjusted to achieve a successful result