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Don’t Make These 5 Colonoscopy Mistakes

Chewing Gum Colonoscopy

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Colonoscopies are critical in preventing colon cancer. And when you’ve taken the time to prepare for the colonoscopy and are ready to have it done, you want to ensure it’s a success.

Whether it’s your first colonoscopy or your 5th, here are 5 colonoscopy mistakes you don’t want to make when it comes to colonoscopy screenings:

5 Colonoscopy Mistakes

1. Not Getting Screened

The biggest mistake you can make with a colonoscopy is not getting one when you’re supposed to. Everyone aged 45 and above should have a colonoscopy. People with risk factors may need to be screened earlier. This includes a family history of colon cancer, being African American, or if you’re experiencing bowel symptoms.

After your first colonoscopy, your doctor will recommend an appropriate colonoscopy schedule based on your results and risk factors. For many people, that’s once every 10 years.  If you’ve had polyps removed or have other risk factors, it may be more frequent. Read more about screening guidelines or schedule an appointment.

2. Not Following The Prep Instructions

Colonoscopy prep is much better than it used to be, and there are several new options available that are lower volume and taste better. Because of the recent changes, it’s important to read and follow the instructions. Don’t assume the timing and amounts are the same as a previous prep method you may have used in the past. If the bowel prep is not done properly, it could delay your procedure or affect your doctor’s ability to perform the examination.  Read more about different prep methods.

3. Drinking Anything Within 3 Hours of Your Arrival Time

Patients may not drink anything, including water, within three hours of their arrival time. If patients need to take medication, they must do so 3 hours or more before arriving at their appointment. Patient safety is our top priority. Anesthesia is used during a colonoscopy, and having an empty stomach reduces the risk of certain risk factors.

4. Chewing Gum or Tobacco

Do not chew gum or tobacco at least three hours prior to your arrival time. Chewing gum can increase stomach contents which increases the risk of anesthesia complications. Along with increasing stomach contents, chewing tobacco also raises nicotine levels in the blood which may affect anesthesia recovery and increase the risk of complications. It’s best to quit all nicotine-containing products at least 24 hours prior to your appointment.

5. Not Bringing Someone To Drive You Home

Everyone reacts to anesthesia differently. All patients will spend time recovering from anesthesia before being released by a medical professional. Operating a vehicle after anesthesia is dangerous, so always bring a driver with you. GCSA does not allow taxis, Uber/Lyft, or public transportation following anesthesia.

Is it time for your colonoscopy?  Call us for an appointment today.

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