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Colon Cancer

Colonoscopy Prep Electrolyte Imbalance

12/15/2008

Question:

I`ve had UC (entire colon) for over twenty years. The first 8 years was an in and out remission period w/frequent colonoscopies and various treatment measures. Seventy-five perchant of the time, I fainted within an hour`s release from the hospital. It has made me very leery as one time I incurred a slight head injury from the fall and I shunned the procedures for the last 6 years. It became necessary to have another colonoscopy (fecal incontinence) and because the procedure was delayed an extra 2 hours, I fainted before I was placed in a bed prior to the OR admit. Did my body react to an electrolyte imbalance? How can I prevent all this from happening again? The doctor doesn`t seem to be concerned when I mentioned the events. I believe it is associated w/the bowel purging prep. I am 65 yrs. old and am again fearful about possible injuries from fainting.

Answer:

Its more likely due to not eating and some dehydration than electrolyte imbalance. I would try to have the procedures done as the first case of the day to minimize this risk.

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Response by:

Gregory S Cooper, MD Gregory S Cooper, MD
Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University