It is inevitable; at some point you are going to need an upper endoscopy and/or colonoscopy. Many people fear the discomfort that they anticipate will accompany these procedures. Additionally, weight-loss surgery patients are concerned about their ability to complete the bowel prep owing to their altered anatomy.
The good news is that it is easy to undergo these procedures, even if you’ve had gastric bypass. I was awfully afraid of the pain of - let’s be really honest here - having a device inserted into my bum and pushed all the way through to my small bowel. I also was nearly deathly afraid of being put under anesthesia.
Let me allay any concerns that you have. Speaking from my recent experience, a colonoscopy, the bowel prep, an upper endoscopy, and the anesthesia are all very manageable. Let’s explore them.
My Visit with the Gastroenterologist
First things first: I was sure to tell my gastroenterologist and nurse that I had gastric bypass. My gastroenterologist thanked me for alerting her and actually was eager to see my altered anatomy Also be sure to tell your doctor if you have diabetes or take blood thinners as you may need to stop some of your medication before the procedure.
I discussed my concerns about dumping owing to the fast during the bowel prep. My doctor was able to recommend a "clear" protein powder by Isopure that would be compliant with the bowel prep procedures. I’ll write more about the bowel prep a little further in this article, but for now understand that there is a 24-hr liquid fast during which only "clear" liquids can be consumed. Getting back to the clear protein powder (clear meaning translucent not transparent), I was glad for a solution for getting in my daily protein as this would keep me from getting the shakes.
The nurse was very careful to discuss with me options for sugar-free drinks and "liquid foods" (ie gelatin, popsicles) in lieu of apple juice and Ginger Ale so that I would not dump from the high sugar content. She also was sure to discuss my pouch’s ability to tolerate the large amount of liquids that I would consume.
Preparing for My Bowel Prep
If you have been reading my articles, you know that I hate processed foods. I had to put my aversion aside and shop for sugar-free Lemon Italian Ice, orange popsicles, and orange, lemon, and lime Jello. I also purchased organic chicken broth and a variety of clear no calorie drinks – iced tea, orange Vitamin Water, and lemon Crystal Light.
It was important that I not consume anything red or purple. The doctor told me that these will appear to look like blood in the intestines. She further told me that I could drink any liquid that I could see through (hence my reference above to translucent not transparent). If I could see through the liquid, that meant she would be able to see through the liquid when it was in my bowels.
Continue to: Colonoscopy Bowel Prep after Gastric Bypass Surgery, Part 2 - My Bariatric Life** References:**
National Library of Medicine www.nlm.nih.gov accessed 10-19-12
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You can read about my decision to have weight loss surgery back in 2003, and since that time my journey from processed food junkie to healthy living so as to maintain a lifetime of obesity disease management. My wish is to help you on your own journey of lifetime obesity disease management. Whether you are planning or have had bariatric surgery, or you want to lose weight through non-surgical means, my shareposts along the way will help you to navigate your journey successfully.
I grew from fit to fat and became a processed food junkie and couch potato with diabetes, celiac disease, depression, acid reflux, asthma, and hypertension. I was in my 30s, morbidly obese and on ~10 prescription medications. Since 2003 I’ve maintained massive weight loss from gastric bypass surgery and remain free from 9 of the 10 prescriptions. Then in 2013 I underwent body contouring and facial plastic surgeries to remove the last traces of my former obesity. Nowadays I am committed to supporting the online patient community with outstanding resources and by sharing my long-term success in defeating obesity and obesity-related illnesses. Today, I’m a size small (down from a size 24W) and living larger than ever!