After The Colonoscopy(Part 2 Of A 2-Part Series)
AFTER THE COLONOSCOPY
(Part 2 of a 2-part series)
A colonoscopy usually takes about a half-hour or hour to complete. Afterwards your parent will be moved to a recovery room while the sedative wears off — it takes about an hour andthen she is ready to go homeShe will feel bloated, tired and uncomfortable from the exam and sedatives.It may take a day or two until he or she feels back to normal so keep her as relaxed and comfortable as you can.
Before you leave the hospital make sure your relative receives detailed discharge instructions and the contact information of a staff member if either of you have questions or concerns about his condition. Both of you should read home-going instructions carefully and talk to his doctor or the doctor who performed the procedure if you have questions or need more information.
Sometimes side effects occur after the procedure. Be alert for:
- severe abdominal pain,
- fever, blood in bowel movements,
- dizziness or weakness.
Contact your parents doctor immediately if these symptoms occur.
If your parent has diabetes, ask hospital staff or a diabetes educator to suggest foods and beverages that are healthy for her to eat after the procedure.If she takes medications or insulin find out how often blood sugar should be monitored and what doses should be used to maintain recommended blood glucose levels.If she takes oral medications ask if doses should be increased or decreased.
RECOVERING FROM A COLONOSCOPY
A colonoscopy is a stressful, unpleasant procedure that just about everyone is reluctant to undergo.After its over and your parent is pack home, encourage him to rest, relax and take it easy after its over. He or she will probably be happy to follow-up on your suggestion!
Medications administered during or after the procedure may cause dizziness or drowsiness.Your older relative should not drive for at least 24 hours after the colonoscopy.Naps and relaxation are encouraged!
Notify the doctor immediately if your parent develops a fever or chills within the next 48 hours.
THE RESULTS AND WHAT THEY SHOW
Ask a staff member or health care professional to notify you as soon the results of your parents procedure are available.
What the results mean:
- A colonoscopy is considered negative if no abnormalities are found in the colon.If no other abnormalities are present in the colon, the risk of colon cancer is normal and your parent may not need another colonoscopy for 10 years.
- A colonoscopy is considered positive if polyps or abnormal tissue is found.Your parents doctor will recommend that the procedure be repeated in 5-10 years depending on other risk factors.
- For a large polyp or tissue with certain cell characteristics, a colonoscopy may be recommended in three to five years depending on other risk factors.
- Follow-up colonoscopies may be recommended every three months, six months, or annually if abnormal tissue or polyps are found that may require follow-up surgery.
Be sure that both your parent and you understand what these results mean, the prognosis, and possible treatments.
NOW THAT WASNT SO BAD
When the procedure is over and your parent is back home, your older parent may reply Oh yes it was!The colonoscopy was not a pleasant experience, but both of you, your relatives and friends will be pleased that your family member received a clean bill of health and wont be needing another invasive colon exam any time soon.The experience may also help them see the importance of visiting their own doctors and schedule a colonoscopy for themselves.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE:CELEBRITIES & COLON CANCER
Katy Couric:After her husband died of colon cancer Ms Couric had a colonoscopy on live TV to raise awareness about colon cancer.
Milton Berle:Comedian, died of colon cancer at 93
Walter Matthau:Actor, died of colon cancer at 79
Charles Schulz:Creator of Peanuts
Vince Lombardi:Coach of the Green Bay Packers
Source: The Benjamin Rose Institute Cleveland, Oh