Stay Well Testing Tip #4: Cleanse Before a Colonoscopy
A fastidious cleanse may compensate for a later day appointment by making colon polyps easier to spot. “A lot of doctors tell patients to drink all of the laxative solution the night before,” says Jim Palmier, MD. But if you have a late morning or afternoon appointment, it’s better to split the solution -- drink half the night before and the rest three to five hours before the procedure, he advises. The reason: “It’s a good idea to do more cleansing in the morning so there’s no stool there to prevent the doctors from viewing the inner lining of the colon.”
Another tip: Book a morning appointment. A recent study that looked at doctors’ daily detection rates over four months found that the number of polyps that doctors found and removed dropped 4 percent with every passing hour and 5 percent for each subsequent procedure. The last procedure of the day missed nearly half the polyps found during in the first procedure of the day.