After Effects of a Colonoscopy

The after effects of a colonoscopy vary slightly from person to person. The exact effects depend on your general health and colon health. The effects also depend on whether you had any polyps removed or tissue samples taken during the procedure.

The large intestine is comprised of a long colon and a short rectum. The colon helps flush waste from the small intestine, pushing it into the rectum. The waste passes from the rectum and out the anus for expulsion from the body.

A colonoscopy examines the inside of the colon and rectum to determine if there are any problems, such as polyps, ulcers and cancerous growths. Your doctor will give you anesthesia and insert a thin tube into your colon. The tube carries a tiny camera that sends picture of the inner colon to a screen for examination.

If any problems are discovered during your colonoscopy, your doctor may need to remove a small tissue sample from your colon lining for a biopsy. Any small polyps will be removed as well. Large or massive amounts of polyps may require a follow-up visit to remove completely.

Colonoscopy After Effects
Everyone who undergoes a colonoscopy procedure is sedated and will have to recover from that sedation. You may need to spend up to two hours in recovery as the medication wears off. You are not allowed to operate any machinery for about 12 hours after your procedure, which means you will have to arrange a ride home. However, you should be fully recovered in time to go to work the day after the procedure.

  • Common side effects after a colonoscopy include mild cramping, gas or bloating immediately after the procedure. The symptoms are usually caused by small amounts of air passing out of your colon. Walking around may help move the air quickly and rid you of the side effects.
  • Potential side effects after a colonoscopy may include a tiny amount of bleeding in your first bowel movement. This tiny bit of blood is normal, particularly if you have an unhealthy colon, had polyps removed or have an ulcerous area in the colon lining. However, heavy bleeding or multiple bowel movements containing blood are not normal and you should talk to your doctor at once.
  • Rare side effects after a colonoscopy include severe cramping, bloating, dizziness or weakness. Severe abdominal pain, a fever and heavy or repetitive bloody bowel movements may also result. Anyone experiencing any of these symptoms after a colonoscopy needs to contact their doctor immediately.
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