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Video:How to Prepare for a Colonoscopy

with Dr. Alyse Bellomo

A colonoscopy is a routine procedure used to check on the status of your colon. Here's a video explaining how to prepare for a colonoscopy.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Prepare for a Colonoscopy

Hi, I'm Dr. Alyse Bellomo, and today for About.com, we'll be talking about how to prepare for a colonoscopy.

Explanation of the Colonoscopy

The colonoscopy is a procedure where we take a look in the inside of the colon. Men and women over the age of fifty need colonoscopies at regular intervals. The intervals are shorter if you have a higher risk of having colon cancer or polyps such as a family history of colon cancer or if you have had polyps on previous colonoscopies. A colonoscope is a long tube that has a light source and a camera at its end. It enables us to look in the colon. It also has channels which allow us to take biopsies or remove polyps at the time of colonoscopy. The test will take about twenty minutes to perform. Colonoscopy is the best test we have to detect polyps and colon cancer.

Preparing for a Colonoscopy

However, for an effective test, the colon needs to be clean. In general, the day before the colonoscopy, no solid food is eaten. People mostly have a diet of clear liquids, including jello and chicken broth. There are several types of preps on the market. Polyethyleneglycol is one of the most popular ones and goes under such names as GoLightly and NewLightly. Also, there are oral sodium phosphate tablet preparations such as Visacol and Osmoprep. The doctor will often tell you to avoid certain medications in the days leading up to the colonoscopy, such as blood thinners. As well, most people are asked to hold their daily medications on the morning of the procedure. It usually takes several hours to clean out the colon, depending on the person. The test will take about twenty minutes to perform. Your doctor will give specific information on how you should prep.

Thanks for watching, I'm Dr. Alyse Bellomo and for more information, go to About.com.

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