- News Releases
A colonoscopy is an exam used to detect changes or abnormalities in the large intestine, or colon, and rectum. It's an important exam that's performed to check for colon cancer. But some would agree that preparing for the colonoscopy is worse than the exam itself.
In this Mayo Clinic Minute, Dr. James East, a gastroenterologist at Mayo Clinic Healthcare in London, explains what patients will need to do to prepare for this exam and how to make it a little easier.
Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute.
Journalists: Broadcast-quality video (0:59) is in the downloads at the end of this post. Please courtesy: "Mayo Clinic News Network." Read the script.
Before a colonoscopy, your health care provider may ask you to do certain things to empty your colon.
"Colonoscopy prep is a difficult thing, and it probably is the thing that patients like the least about having a colonoscopy," says Dr. East.
Besides following a special, low-fiber diet in the days leading up to the exam, patients also will be asked to take a liquid laxative prior to their appointment.
"Many of the preps now come in quite a high volume. There may be 2 liters or sometimes even 4 liters to drink," says Dr. East.
A few tricks to help it go down a little easier are to premix it and let it get nice and cold in the fridge. Dr. East says putting some clear citrus flavoring in it helps make it a little more palatable.
Your health care provider may ask you to use the laxative prep both the night before and the morning of your colonoscopy, which can be tough for some patients. However, it's important to remember "this is your once-in-10-years examination to try and find the polyps that are going to turn into bowel cancer. So, please, if your doctor asks you to split the dose and get up early, this is one of those times an early start is needed," says Dr. East.
For the safety of its patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in an area not designated for patient care, where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.
Colorectal cancer is a term that combines both colon cancer and rectal cancers. The colon and rectum are two different parts of the lower digestive tract. ...
Tick season is underway in much of the U.S. This season, another tick-borne disease is on the list of concerns. That's because the Centers for ...
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is monitoring an increase in invasive group A Streptococcus infections in children. "Group A streptococcal disease is a group of ...