Health Is Everything: A Medical Blog

6 Of The Worst Things You Could Do Regarding Colonoscopy Procedures

Colonoscopy procedures are important for staying healthy. Unfortunately, some patients do things that they shouldn't regarding colonoscopies.

The following are six of the worst things you could do regarding colonoscopy procedures. 

Neglecting to undergo colonoscopy procedures when your doctor says you should

Listen to what your doctor says about when you need to start undergoing colonoscopies. Routine colonoscopy screenings are typically recommended for adults who are 45 and older.

Some patients who have certain conditions like inflammatory bowel disease or who have a family history of colorectal cancers should start getting tested earlier. If you have questions about whether you need to schedule a colonoscopy, ask your doctor.

Failing to carefully follow the prep instructions that you've been given

You'll need to undergo a purging treatment that clears your bowels before you go in for your colonoscopy. This will involve taking a colonoscopy prep substance, which is an oral laxative. Make sure that you follow your doctor's instructions carefully when you're prepping so that you're ready for your colonoscopy appointment. 

Chewing gum/tobacco or consuming alcohol before your colonoscopy

Patients should avoid chewing tobacco and gum because chewing such products can increase stomach content. Chewing gum or tobacco can also complicate anesthesia administration and recovery. 

It's also important to avoid consuming alcohol before you undergo your colonoscopy since alcohol can dehydrate you and cause potentially harmful interactions with anesthesia. 

Attempting to drive yourself home after the procedure

Patients should always have someone drive them home after they undergo a colonoscopy. Patients need to wait until the anesthesia used during the procedure wears off before driving again. Driving while recovering from anesthesia is dangerous and can put patients at risk of being involved in an accident. 

Not finding out how often you need to undergo colonoscopy procedures

In general, patients are recommended to undergo one colonoscopy every 10 years after they've reached the age of 50. However, those who are particularly at risk of colorectal cancer may need to schedule colonoscopies more frequently.

You should keep careful track of when you had your last colonoscopy so that you don't overlook scheduling your next one. 

Being unaware of how you can benefit from undergoing colonoscopy procedures

Patients are more motivated to undergo regular colonoscopy procedures when they know what the health benefits are. Colonoscopies benefit patients by allowing their doctor to detect potentially cancerous polyps early so that they can then be removed before they cause severe health problems.