What Can You Expect During Colonoscopy Recovery?


Quick Answer

Most of the time patients remain in the hospital for one to two hours after a colonoscopy. During this time, they sometimes experience abdominal cramps and gas. The patient is sometimes groggy if his doctor gave a sedative for the procedure, and he requires someone drive him home when dismissed from the hospital, according to WebMD. Patients are able to resume their normal activities the next day.

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Full Answer

Because of the medication the doctor uses with the procedure, WebMD recommends the patient avoids signing legal documents or operating a vehicle for 24 hours after the test. Patients should drink plenty of fluids to replace what they lost during preparation for the procedure, but avoid the use of alcohol.

A colonoscopy is a test allowing the doctor to examine the walls of the colon for abnormalities. Prior to the procedure, the patient must follow the doctor's instructions for emptying the colon. This includes following a clear liquid diet for up to three days before the procedure. Medication allows the patient to relax as the doctor inserts the scope and examines the colon, according to MedlinePlus.

During the procedure, the doctor inflates the colon with air in order to examine the surfaces. If the doctor sees abnormal tissue, he uses the tube to take a sample for laboratory examination. Most patients do not feel pain as doctors remove samples. The process takes 30 to 45 minutes, according to WebMD.

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