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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A virtual colonoscopy is a procedure to examine the inside of your colon (large intestine). Healthcare providers also use a CT scan or MRI to take pictures of your colon. If you have CT scan, air or carbon dioxide (gas) is put in using a small, bendable tube into your rectum to expand your colon. In an MRI colonoscopy, warm water or solutions with dye may be used so healthcare providers can clearly see the inside of your colon.
- Pain medicine: You may need medicine to take away or decrease pain.
- Learn how to take your medicine. Ask what medicine and how much you should take. Be sure you know how, when, and how often to take it.
- Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease.
- Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling someone when you get out of bed or if you need help.
- 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 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 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 healthcare provider about the best exercise plan for you. Exercise can help prevent constipation, decrease your blood pressure and improve your health.
Contact your 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.