Next time you schedule a colonoscopy, tell the receptionist you want a morning appointment--or none at all.
Just like early birds catch all the worms, early docs catch all the polyps... and when your colon is on the line, you definitely want to make sure your doc catches those polyps.
Researchers looked at more than 1,000 procedures carried out over a four- month period by 28 doctors, paying particular attention to the number of polyps detected in relation to the time of day and where a patient was in line.
Overall, the researchers found that docs detected at least one polyp 42 percent of the time--but those detections weren't spread out equally across the day.
In fact, the number of polyps detected fell by 4 percent an hour--and by 5 percent with each new patient that dropped trou in the exam room.
The researchers also found that some docs did up to 12 colonoscopies in a single day--and in those cases, they detected a little more than half as many polyps in that last procedure as they did in the first, according to the study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.
Other studies have also found that docs poop out as the day wears on. One study in 2009 found that docs detected and average of 27 percent more polyps during procedures that began before 8:30 a.m. than they did in procedures performed later in the day.
But that's not the only reason to get your scope in the morning--because it's not just the best time for your doc.
It's the best time for you.
As you probably know, the least pleasant part of the procedure is the day before--when you have to empty your bowels.
I'll spare you the details, but find a good book and stick close to the toilet.
You can't eat again until after the procedure--so if you get yours out of the way early, you won't have to spend your day fighting hunger pangs. p.s. Some docs are pushing sigmoidoscopies over colonoscopies--but these procedures only look at the lower third of the colon, which means they could miss potentially deadly polyps. Read this to find out why you shouldn't settle for anything less than a complete colonoscopy.