Colonoscopy (Gastroenterology)

Body Area: Abdomen
Body Parts: Intestines
Symptoms: Bloody Stool
Colonoscopy is considered the best way to screen for colon cancer, and checking for abnormalities in the large intestine. To prepare for your colonoscopy, you will need to follow the directions given by your doctor. These will often include: following a special diet the day before. (This will likely involve limiting solids and limiting yourself to only clear liquids. Avoid red liquids, as these might be confused with blood.), taking a laxative the night before the exam, use of an enema to clean your colon, and adjusting your medication. Let your doctor know well in advance about any medications you are taking. This is especially true for any medications taken for diabetes or heart problems (including aspirin). After the procedure, you may need to take up to an hour to recover from the sedative (if used). The remainder of the day you should rest. You may feel bloated and need to pass gas. Walking may relieve discomfort. There may be a small amount of blood during your next bowel movement, but this is normal. See your doctor if you continue to pass blood, or if you have continued abdominal pain.