Colonoscopy is a key procedure for detecting and preventing colorectal cancer. With proper preparation, the patient’s colon is thoroughly cleaned, which allows for clear visualisation and accurate examination during the screening procedure.

Before we start discussing the actual day-by-day guide, it is vital to note that this guide is meant to be informational and give you a better idea of what to expect; however, you should always follow the specific instructions provided by your doctor.

The Day Before
the Procedure

On the day before the colonoscopy, the doctor’s instructions will be more specific. Here are some common guidelines given to patients:

  • Morning Routine: Take a clear liquid breakfast. This may include clear broth, black coffee/tea, or clear juice.
  • Taking the Colonoscopy Prep Kit: This is normally the time you take the colonoscopy prep kit. A colonoscopy prep or bowel prep kit is an oral laxative formula that you will take before your colonoscopy. The exact process will vary based on the solution prescribed by your doctor. Throughout the prep, you should keep sipping on clear liquids to stay hydrated.

It is important that you finish this preparation as instructed to ensure a clean bowel before the procedure. Incomplete bowel preparation may necessitate repeating the preparation process and potentially rescheduling the colonoscopy.

On the Day of the
Colonoscopy Screening

On the day of the procedure itself, you will need to do some final preparations. Around four (4) hours before the procedure, you should stop drinking all liquids, even the clear ones.

During the Colonoscopy Procedure

Once you are settled in the procedure room, an intravenous (IV) line will be inserted into your arm to administer a sedative medication. This medication will help you relax and feel comfortable during the colonoscopy. The doctor will then gently insert a thin, flexible tube called a colonoscope into your rectum. The entire procedure usually takes about 30 minutes.

After the Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy patients will be discharged on the same day. To facilitate a safe recovery, it is crucial to arrange for a designated trusted family member or friend to accompany the patient home. Due to the potential for drowsiness caused by sedation, driving is strictly inadvisable.

Following discharge, the patient may experience mild bloating and discomfort. These effects are expected to subside naturally within a few days. However, in the event of severe pain, significant bleeding, or persistent vomiting, immediate medical attention is necessary.

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