Dr. William A. Ball, Jr., is one of Natchitoches’ most respected colon cancer physicians. Colon cancer, excluding skin cancers, is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States, which is why colonoscopies are encouraged as preventative measure.

What is colonoscopy?

Colonoscopy is a procedure used to see inside the colon and rectum. Colonoscopy can detect inflamed tissue, ulcers, and abnormal growths. The procedure is used to look for early signs of colorectal cancer and can help doctors diagnose unexplained changes in bowel habits, abdominal pain, bleeding from the anus, and weight loss.

How to Prepare for Colonoscopy

The doctor usually provides written instructions about how to prepare for colonoscopy. The process is called bowel prep. Generally, all solids must be emptied from the gastrointestinal tract by following a clear liquid diet for 1 to 3 days before the procedure. Patients should not drink beverages containing red or purple dye. Acceptable liquids include:

  • Fat-free bouillon or broth
  • Strained fruit juice
  • Water
  • Plain coffee
  • Plain tea
  • Sports drinks, such as Gatorade
  • Gelatin

A laxative or an enema may be required the night before colonoscopy. A laxative is medicine that loosens stool and increases bowel movements. Laxatives are usually swallowed in pill form or as a powder dissolved in water. An enema is performed by flushing water, or sometimes a mild soap solution, into the anus using a special wash bottle.

Learn more about Colonoscopies HERE.

Click HERE to read about clear liquid diet prep.

Click HERE for Colonoscopy Instuctions for Halflytely Prep.

Click HERE for Osmoprep Colonoscopy Instructions.

Click HERE for Moviprep Instructions for Colonoscopy.

Click HERE for Colonoscopy Instructions for Suprep Bowel Prep.

Click HERE to see an animation of this procedure.