If you're nearing your 45th birthday, it's time for you to start planning for your initial colonoscopy. You might have thought that you could wait until your 50th birthday, but that's not necessarily the case anymore. The new recommendation is that you receive your first colonoscopy right around the time you turn 45 years of age. If you're anxious about the procedure, do some research ahead of your appointment. That way, you know what to expect when you arrive. If you have questions about the procedure, the information provided below can help. Here are four questions about your colonoscopy that you might want answers to.
Why Do You Need to Have a Colonoscopy?
If you're like most people, you're wondering why you need a colonoscopy in the first place. Colonoscopies give doctors a clear view of the rectum and the large intestine. The exam allows your doctor to check for signs of cancer, locate polyps, and identify causes for colorectal problems such as chronic diarrhea or bleeding. Without a colonoscopy, your doctor might not be able to diagnose those problems.
Can You Forego the Screening Preparation?
If you're scheduled for a colonoscopy, there will be certain procedures you'll need to complete prior to your appointment. Part of the preparation involves a thorough cleansing of your bowels. The night before your colonoscopy, you'll need to drink liquid laxatives to completely clear your bowels of any fecal matter that might be present. In the morning, you'll likely need to take additional laxative pills to complete the cleansing. This might seem uncomfortable. However, the preparation ensures that your doctor will be able to see the entire intestinal tract.
Will You Be Awake During the Procedure?
If you need to undergo your first colonoscopy, you might have a bit of anxiety. If you're worried that you'll experience pain, or that you'll be embarrassed, you should know that you'll be asleep throughout the procedure. That's because the doctor will give you a sedative before they begin your colonoscopy. When the procedure is completed, you'll wake up in the recovery room.
When Can You Resume Normal Activities?
If you're ready for your first colonoscopy, you're probably wondering how long you'll be out of commission. You will need to rest for at least the first day following the procedure. However, in most cases, you'll be able to resume your normal activities the next day or so, which includes returning to work.
Contact a doctor for more information regarding a colonoscopy procedure.