WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
A colonoscopy is a procedure to examine the inside of your colon (large intestine) using a flexible tube with a small light and camera on the end. During a colonoscopy, caregivers may remove a small amount of tissue from the colon for a biopsy. A biopsy can help diagnose problems with your colon.
AFTER YOU LEAVE:
- Pain medicine: You may be given medicine to take away or decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine.
- Stool softeners: This medicine makes it easier for you to have a bowel movement. You may need this medicine to treat or prevent constipation.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Help prevent constipation:
- Eat a variety of healthy foods: Healthy foods include fruit, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meat, and fish. Ask if you need to be on a special diet.
- Drink liquids as directed: Adults should drink between 9 and 13 eight-ounce cups of liquid every day. Ask what amount is best for you. For most people, good liquids to drink are water, juice, and milk.
- Get plenty of exercise: Talk to your primary healthcare provider about the best exercise plan for you. Exercise can help prevent constipation, decrease your blood pressure and improve your health.
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- You have nausea or vomiting.
- You have problems having a bowel movement or passing urine.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You feel full, bloated, or are not able to have a bowel movement.
- You have trouble breathing all of a sudden.
- Your abdomen becomes tender and hard.
- Your stools are black or have blood in them.
- Your vomit has blood or bile in it.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.