After a colonoscopy, patients may resume a normal diet. Following the procedure, patients are observed in a recovery room for approximately 30 minutes. They may experience cramping, but pain usually resolves quickly.
A colonoscopy is a medical procedure that is used to check for the presence of colon cancer and other abnormalities in the colon. A doctor performing a colonoscopy uses a camera attached to a long, flexible tube to transmit an image of the colon for examination. The tube bends to allow the doctor to move it and see around the curves of the colon. Patients are given medication that causes drowsiness before the procedure, but they sometimes experience cramping while it is being done. If anything abnormal is observed during a colonoscopy, a doctor may remove a small amount of tissue for testing.
A patient may need to stop taking certain medications temporarily after a colonoscopy if polyps were removed or if a biopsy was performed. Some patients experience bleeding and other complications after the procedure.
The American Cancer Society recommends that men and women begin screening for colon cancer at age 50 and are advised to be tested every 10 years. Patients at increased risk for colorectal cancer may be tested more often.