When should the fast start? With which timelines do the cleaning? Dr. Fabrizio Montagnese, an expert in Gastroenterology in Rome, explains how the preparation for colonoscopy works.
Food regime: what changes?
Preparation for colonoscopy begins 3 days before the examination with the stop taking food containing fiber or waste, such as vegetables, cereals, whole foods and fruit. Dairy products, eggs, fish and meat can still be taken.
The day before the examination the diet is further restricted, at this point can no longer take dairy products, especially milk, which becomes prohibited. In the morning it is possible to drink tea or coffee with rusks. At lunch it is still possible to take solid but light food: free way then to grilled meat, boiled fish, minestrine and broths. At dinner only liquids will be allowed, such as broths. After dinner, up to 6 hours before the examination, the body should be kept well hydrated with clear liquids: tea sugar is allowed if desired, but carbonated water is forbidden.
How do I clean my intestine?
If the patient suffers from constipation (constipation), it is advisable to start laxative treatment already 2 days before the exam, during the afternoon. There are different types of laxatives used to clean the colon examination, the most common are those from contact and osmotic ones. The former work by stimulating the walls of the intestine and generating rather strong contractions to favor the expulsion of the feces, while the latter act by attracting fluids from the intestine, speeding up and facilitating the evacuation in this way. It will be the specialist, according to the patient's needs, to decide which type of laxative will be the most appropriate. Laxatives are available in tablets or in powder form: in the latter case they are generally dissolved in 1-2 liters of water, according to the indications of the specialist and taken slowly according to the dosage.
If the exam is scheduled for the morning
The day before the exam, the laxative intake begins around 5 pm, when 3 tablets are initially taken. Three hours later the liquid solution begins to drink: 2 glasses every 15 minutes until the entire liter is used up. At 22:00 the intake of the second liter of laxative solution begins with the same timing.
If the exam is scheduled for the afternoon
At 6 o'clock the day before the exam, 3 laxative tablets are taken, while from 22 the intake of the first part of the preparation is started, drinking 2 glasses every 15 minutes. On the day of the exam, at 6 am the procedure will be repeated with the second liter. Laxatives can produce abdominal swelling as a side effect, which is resolved already at the first evacuation. If the disturbance becomes unsustainable, it is also possible to extend the break to 25 minutes for intake. In addition, some anticoagulants or antiplatelet agents must be suspended 7 days before the exam, for this reason it is essential to speak with the specialist.