No one looks forward to having a colonoscopy done. However, it is an important medical procedure that can help prevent or detect colon cancer in its early stages. If you have an appointment to have your first colonoscopy done, you may be nervous. Here are a few tips that can help to make the procedure go as smooth as possible for both you and the doctor.
Follow Your Pre-Prep Diet
A day or two prior to the procedure, you will be given a drink that helps to clear your system out. This helps to remove waste from your body so that the doctor can get a good look at your colon. During this time, you may be told you can only drink liquid items, such as broth and juice, or you may be advised only to drink the drink prescribed to you. Always follow your pre-prep diet. Eating anything that you are not supposed to or not taking the drink as you should can cause waste to be present. This can prevent the colonoscopy from taking place or cause you to need a repeat one.
Keep Your Anus Moisturized
Your pre-prep diet will cause you to have to go to the bathroom frequently. Unfortunately, this can leave you having to wipe over and over, which can make you uncomfortable or even lead to chafing and cracking. The best way to prevent this is keep your anus moisturized. Consider using wet wipes or even applying petroleum jelly or a diaper rash ointment around your anus. Not only will this make you comfortable prior to the procedure, but it may help prevent further discomfort after the procedure as well.
Take a Few Days Off of Work
It is strongly advised that you take a couple of days off of work prior to the procedure and the day after as well. You will have to use the bathroom frequently prior to your appointment, which is not easy to do at work. Additionally, the drink and lack of food may make you feel dizzy, faint, or weak. After the procedure, your stomach may still hurt, and you may still feel weak as well. Taking it easy a couple days before the procedure can help you relax and help ensure that you get everything out of your body.
Relax Before and During the Procedure
The last tip to make your colonoscopy easier on yourself and the doctor is to relax as much as possible before and during the procedure. Stressing yourself out and having anxiety will cause your body to tense up, which makes the procedure harder on everyone. Fortunately, you will receive sedation, so you should be able to relax. But if you are not, consider breathing and meditation techniques to help you relax your mind and body.
If you have any further questions about the colonoscopy or are extremely nervous, anxious or worried, talk to a doctor at a medical center like Lincoln Surgical Group PC. They can help you prepare, let you know what to expect and help to calm you before your appointment.