If you have a family history of colon cancer or similar issues, you may need a colonoscopy. This procedure can also help to screen for and find polyps and ulcers. Essentially, the process involves inserting a thin tube and a very small camera through the anus and up into the colon. Most people use some medication through the process. Here's what you need to know:
1. Talk With Your Doctor About Allergies and Medications You Are Currently Taking
Ideally, before your colonoscopy, you should have a consultation session with your doctor. There, you can talk about what to expect during the procedure and any concerns you have. From a medical perspective, you can talk about what you plan during the procedure.
So that your doctor can advise you properly, you need to let him or her know about any allergies. If you are currently taking any medications, bring a list to the doctor. That way the doctor can make sure that the pain medications don't contradict anything you are currently taking.
2. Remember You Typically Need to Take a Laxative
To get a good look at your colon, the doctor needs the area to be relatively clean. To flush out your system, you may need to take a laxative before the procedure. However, some people don't like laxatives, and in those cases, there are alternatives.
3. Consider an Emena Instead of a Laxative
If you get stomach aches from laxatives or experience other issues, you may want to consider an enema. Basically, an enema is just a bit of salt water that you insert into your anus. You can buy enemas at most grocery or drug stores.
Typically, they have a very small tip that goes into your anus. This is attached to a bag of salt water that gets squeezed. You need someone to help with that part of the process, but once the fluid enters your body, you should poop almost immediately. In some cases, this can be easier on your system than a laxative.
4. Choose Between Oral and IV Sedation
To relax your colon during the procedure and to minimize your pain, you usually need sedation. You can generally choose between oral sedation (a pill) and IV sedation. With oral, you need a prescription from your doctor that you can fulfill at your pharmacy. Then, you take this pill before your procedure.
With IV sedation or general anesthesia, the medication is administered through your veins. With both options, you need a ride home after the procedure.
Contact a company like Lincoln Surgical Group PC for more information and assistance.