“If I’d known I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself.” – Adolph Zukor
Getting a colonoscopy is about the last thing any of us look forward to as we add candles to our birthday cake. Despite that, it’s an easy way to improve our chance to see the next anniversary of our “B” day. It’s a procedure that has become commonplace since it’s inception in the late 1960s, with thousands performed each day; but many put it off as long as possible. You may wonder if this dreaded exam is really necessary, and just how bad it can be to endure.
Why A Colonoscopy?
Before the colonoscope was invented, medical practitioners would administer Barium enemas and use a Sigmoidoscope to examine the colon to diagnose any polyps or diverticulitis. If polyps, which tend to become cancerous, were found, a second procedure was performed to remove them. This second procedure required a second physician, anesthesia and therefore increased time, risk and expense for the patient. With the introduction of the colonoscope, it was possible to identify polyps and remove them, all in the same outpatient procedure.
An Exam That Doesn’t Require Study
People often say the stress before an exam is worse than the exam itself. This holds true with many colonoscopy exams as well. The prep work for this particular exam is generally not difficult, but can be unpleasant. Following your prep instructions faithfully to ensure your colon is empty will help your physician get an accurate view of its health.
You may be required to drink a fluid from the pharmacist, or you may be able to use a combination of OTC medicines to empty your bowels sufficiently. Be sure to eat and drink only what and when you are allowed and avoid red food coloring, as an improper prep can lead to a repeat attempt another day.
Dr. David Yamini recommends taking the day of your colonoscopy off from work and asking someone to drive you to and from the procedure. Since you’ll be required to fast for at least a little time before the procedure, you can go enjoy a delicious breakfast after. It’s a good excuse to give yourself a day off to relax and do something you enjoy, and be satisfied that you’ve done something to take care of your amazing body that takes care of you every day.
Whether you’re ready to celebrate your (un)birthday or just ready to celebrate you, contact our office to schedule an appointment to discuss taking the best care of your health.
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