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— you want to be near a bathroom with a fully functional toilet when the prep kicks in, and make sure you have ample amounts of soft tissue in arm’s reach.

Follow the prep instructions to a T, because you want to clean out your colon as best you can so the doctor can get a good look.

Just before the procedure, the doctor will have you turn onto your left side. He or she will give you some type of mild to moderate sedation drug intravenously to kind of knock you out for a few minutes while he or she works.

And the next thing you’ll know, you’ll wake up and say, “Is it over? Did you find anything?”

If the doctor sees polyps or other regions of abnormal tissue during the procedure, he or she will remove them (or samples of them) through the scope during the procedure.

Colonoscopies can find colon and rectal cancers, but they can also find polyps and often remove them before they turn into cancer. And that’s my point — you want the doctor to find the polyps early and remove them before they have an opportunity to turn into cancer. I’ve had colonoscopies since I was in my thirties, and the doctors have removed polyps every single time. One polyp was categorized as “precancerous.”

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