For patients undergoing a colonoscopy or certain types of surgery it is essential that the colon (bowel) be thoroughly cleaned and emptied of all solid matter.
Cleansing the colon is called bowel preparation.
The goal of bowel preparation is to empty and clean the bowel for a
diagnostic procedure (such as a colonoscopy) or for surgery (such
as removal of polyps, cancer or narrowing of the intestinal diameter).
A good bowel preparation allows the doctor to clearly see the lining
of the bowel and thoroughly examine the colon. The procedure is
then more likely to be accurate and complete.
If the bowel is not completely clean and empty the procedure may
need to be postponed or repeated. Potential complications may also
occur or potential cancer lesions could be missed.
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