Colonoscopy follow up

Three years ago I had a colonoscopy, routine for men of my age, and apart from some polyps that they removed, all was fine.

I just had a phone call asking me back for a follow-up. In view of all the COVID stuff I was a little surprised but hey ho. I have to go to one hospital, 30 miles away for a test on Sunday. Assuming that is negative I then have a phone conversation with a nurse about my general health/medication etc, and they will send me the laxative kit. On Wednesday, I have to go to a different hospital (15 miles) for the actual procedure.

I am fine with the ‘scope’. It’s the laxative that I am not looking forward to mostly

I had my first on Monday. Aside from one polyp that they are waiting on pathology, all good and I return in 5 years.

I used the low volume Pico-Salax and it was not nearly as bad as I expected.

The hardest part of the colonoscopy for me was the fasting in some capacity the first day, and not eating at all the second followed into early afternoon the next until it was complete. I hit Burger King hard right after.

Odd, I didn’t have to fast until 5pm the day before, for a noon procedure. No water for 4 hours before the procedure. I don’t remember what kind of prep they gave me.

Unfortunately I had two large polyps, of the type that could possibly have turned cancerous (which probably explains the positive Cologuard test) so I have to go back in just one short year and do it again. It had been 11 years since my last one, so my average still isn’t bad.

bob 2 - It seems odd that they’d just call you out of the blue like that and ask you to come in. They didn’t tell you why? It seems that usually these things are done on a schedule. As I recall, my colonoscopy was scheduled about three months out.

If you go Sunday for the prescreening, how are you supposed to have time to receive the prep kit and do the prep before Wednesday?


I was amazed at the short notice. It was supposed to be last year, but COVID put paid to that. I assume that they are working through a list.

Apparently, the kit will be here on Monday. The hospital where they will do the colonoscopy is a small one with only 97 beds and is not treating COVID patients, so they are using it for minor procedures like this. Also surprising is that this hospital is in a different Health Authority. Usually, this does not happen.

I had one last year and I don’t need another one for another 9 years.

My doctor requires I follow a strict diet for a full seven days prior to the procedure. I dread that aspect of it most.

Because he’d had several polyps, they’d want to check again - probably at 2 years but covid pushed a lot of that stuff back.

My ex has this issue. Luckily, in the U.K. he is given two pills to take and told to drink lots of tap water. No horrible tasting aquarium water for him; a good thing as he now does this procedure annually.

I also hate the fasting. I get headaches and pretty cranky. What I don’t understand is why the dietary prep varies so much. For my first one, I could have only clear liquids the day before. This last time, the doc wanted me to do a full week of prep–low residue foods at first, then increasingly restrictive. I decided to heck with that and went the Cologuard route.

Studies have found that letting patients eat low-residue foods the day before a colonoscopy leads to better outcomes. And somewhere I read that the clear-liquid-only diet is a factor in the nausea some people feel afterward from the anesthesia.

So why the variations? If being able to eat small portions of real food the day before encourages more people to get colonoscopies AND leads to better outcomes (so to speak), why isn’t that standard practice?

I had about 4 days of low residue before the day of clear liquids only. It was a nuisance but not a problem. The clear liquid day, my wife couldn’t understand why I bought so much jello (which she can’t stand). I pointed out that jello is only 160 calories a cup, and when all you are eating is jello, Gatorade, and chicken broth you crave calories.

Yeah, for me the fasting prep was the hardest part. I get hangry.

nelliebly - I hadn’t heard of the low residue diet. I could handle that.


Health Authority? What’s that? Are you outside the U.S.?

Has your doctor ever told you why your case is so far out of the norms for this procedure? I’m no doctor, but in my limited experience that seems just excessive and weird. Isn’t getting unwanted stuff out of your colon what the prep is for?


I’ll see myself out

My prep starts 7 days in advance. No more seeds, for example. Once I start the prep solution (approximately 24 hours before the exam), it’s just liquids. I hate jello. Really detest it.

I had my first one 5 years ago. As they found one small polyp they told me at that time that I have to go back in 5 years. When I had my physical in September, I got referred for my second appointment, which is March 8th. They sent me the prep then, and it’s sitting in an large envelope in my office at home. There’s powder and pills.

I plan to spend some time next weekend reading the instructions - I even have a reminder on my calendar.

This may be of interest:

It’s not really that far out of the norm. As I said, my doc wanted me to do the 7-day prep, and I’ve heard of others. I don’t understand it, either. It’s not like they’re going to go in and find ghosts of cheeseburgers past.

It’s Kaiser, and they give those instructions to everyone as far as I know.
It makes no sense to me.

Yes, UK.