Wondering about your first colonoscopy? Here's what to expect.
|Colonoscopy prep begins a week before the procedure, when you discontinue taking fiber supplements and vitamins containing iron.|
A few days before the procedure, you discontinue eating high-fiber foods, as well as any food or beverages with red dyes.
24 hours before the procedure, you begin fasting. The process of cleaning out your colon begins with a Dulcolax tablet.
Next comes a mixture of green Gatorade and powdered laxative. Once it is mixed, you drink an 8-ounce glass of it every 15 minutes. If you should throw up during this phase, give your stomach half an hour to settle before resuming drinking the mixture. You want to be close to a toilet from here on out.
4 hours before the procedure, you will have to chug a bottle of magnesium sulfate. I won't lie to you: this is where I came the closest to throwing up. Do not eat or drink anything else until after the procedure.
Have someone drive you to the facility where you will have the procedure; this means someone with a car, as they prefer you not take the bus after coming out of anesthesia. Arrive 45 minutes before the procedure.
In this time before the procedure, you will be given two gowns to change into; the second is put on the opposite way of the first, so you won't show your rear end as you walk from the exam room to the operating room. You will also get tapped for an IV; if the veins in your arms aren't large enough, they will put it in your hand. If you have a partial dental appliance, you will be asked to remove it, so as not to risk accidentally swallowing it.
Time for the procedure. You will be escorted to the operating room, and asked to lie on your side. You will be given anesthetic gas, as well as an anesthetic through your IV; this will make your arm go numb right away. They will encourage you to imagine yourself in a relaxing place, though this may not be necessary for you; I certainly don't remember what I imagined.
When you come out of anesthesia, you will be back in the exam room. They will tell you that you can get dressed after you pass gas. If you can't fart then, don't worry: they will have you lie on your stomach, then tilt the table until you're ass over teakettle; then, allow the fact that farts are lighter than air to do the rest.
Once you're dressed, they will give you your test results. In my case, they thought they saw a small polyp, but couldn't find it when they went back.
Once you're all set, a nurse will escort you outside, to your waiting vehicle. Ask your driver to go to a drive-thru for something to eat.