Why A Colonoscopy Isn’t As Bad As You Think

Any surgery is really scary, but one of the scariest of all is a colonoscopy. But, honestly, it’s not all that bad.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the procedure, a colonoscopy is where a tube is inserted in your anus, so the physician can view any abnormal tissue growth or abnormalities in your large intestine and rectum, per Mayo Clinic. Sounds pretty painful, right? Well, honestly, it’s not all that bad — the procedure’s reputation makes it worse than it is.

First, you’re sedated during the procedure, so you won’t feel any pain whatsoever, per Gastrodoxs. Secondly, since you’re lying down on a table, you can’t see anything (and during this case, you need to take the “curiosity killed the cat” idiom seriously). Next, unlike other medical surgeries, if the doctor notices any abnormalities during the exam, they’ll remove it immediately. You won’t need any additional follow-up appointments.

If all is well, you won’t need another colonoscopy for 10 years. A once-in-a-decade procedure to screen for a potentially fatal disease like colon cancer? Absolutely worth it.

There are some downsides to a colonoscopy

Though a colonoscopy isn’t as bad as you think, there are some drawbacks. There are different ways to prepare yourself, but commonly, you have to take laxatives and restrict your diet a few days before the procedure, Gastrodoxs reported. As for why? Well, your physician needs to see an empty colon. On the bright side, according to the outlet, physicians recommend taking the day off, so you can relax (and poop in private) before the procedure. (Think of it as a “mini-cleanse.”)

As for the diet, per Mayo Clinic, you’ll be restricted to a liquid-only diet. The drinks must be clear — teas, water, coffee, broth, and carbonated beverages, according to the site. However, the diet isn’t permanent. Once the procedure is over, you go back to your daily go-to foods.

A colonoscopy isn’t that bad. Sure, no one wants to take laxatives and drink only water, but there are way worse procedures to have. Plus, it might very well save your life. Worth it.

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