Questions About Colon Rectal Surgery?
Baton Rouge Colon Rectal Associates Answer Your Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When should I get a colonoscopy?
A: Colonoscopy is indicated for patients having symptoms concerning for colorectal cancer or inflammatory bowel disease. Screening colonoscopy is indicated for average risk patients at age 50. Newer guidelines recommend screening start at age 45 for African Americans. If a family member has had colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps before the age of 60, it is recommended you start screening 10 years before their age at diagnosis. There are certain hereditary cancers that can occur earlier in life and screening recommendations may vary, discuss these situations with your doctor.
Q: Am I sedated for my colonoscopy?
Yes, you will be given sedation during your endoscopy that will make you comfortable.
Q: Can I go to work the same day I have my colonoscopy? What about the next day?
No, because you are given sedation medications, it is recommended that you take the rest of the day off and relax. You should not make any major decisions, drive, drink alcohol, etc. after receiving sedation on the day of your procedure.
Q: Does someone have to be with me for my colonoscopy?
Yes, as you will be receiving sedating medications during your endoscopy, it is required you have a safe ride home following your procedure.
Q: Will I have to have clearance from my PCP for colonoscopy or surgery?
Yes, you will need medical clearance to proceed with a surgical procedure.
Q: Should I expect bleeding after a colonoscopy?
No. Spotting blood may occur if your hemorrhoids act up around the time of your colonoscopy due to the bowel prep, etc. Major bleeding is considered a complication and you should notify your doctor and/or proceed to the emergency room.
Q: How much is "too much blood"?
Too much blood is over a cupful or ongoing bleeding filling the toilet. Spotting with bowel movements, blood on the toilet paper, etc. is considered minor.
Q: It's been 3-4 days and I'm still having a little bleeding and rectal pain since my surgery. Is this normal?
Yes, after anorectal surgery (abscess, fistula, hemorrhoid, biopsy) it is normal to have spotting bleeding for up to 2 weeks as the tissues heal.
Q: What is considered fever after surgery?
Body temperatures can fluctuate after surgery. Temperatures over 101 F are considered surgical fevers and you should notify your doctor.
Q: I have not had a BM for several days since the surgery. Is this normal? What can I take to help have a BM?
Patients can frequently become constipated after surgery. This can be exacerbated by taking narcotic pain medications that further constipate people. Most patients are prescribed fiber and/or stool softeners after surgery to combat this constipation. If you continue to have problems, you can start taking Miralax or milk of magnesia to get your bowels going. If you have kidney or heart failure, contact your doctor as some of these medications may be contraindicated. Enemas are not indicated if you have had a rectal surgery unless indicated by your doctor as you may cause damage to the surgical site.
Q: What causes blood in stool?
Blood in the stool can be caused from benign conditions such as hemorrhoids, tears in the anal canal (fissure) or abscesses. More serious causes include cancer, tumors, inflammatory bowel disease and diverticular disease.
Q: Do you do colon cleansing?
No, we do not do colonic cleansing nor recommend it for any patients. A healthy diet high in fiber, fruits and vegetables and low in red and processed meats is recommended for good bowel function and a healthy colon.
Q: What is a high-fiber diet? Low-fiber diet?
Fiber is the indigestible portion of plant foods that absorbs water and aids in defecation. It is recommended that you consume 25-30 grams of fiber per day. Foods high in fiber include artichokes, beans, broccoli, carrots, berries, apples, bananas, pears, apricots, certain cereals, etc. It is often hard for Americans to regularly consume enough fiber in their diets and fiber supplements such as Konsyl, Metamucil, Citrucel are recommended.