How Do You Return to Health After a Colonoscopy?


Quick Answer

After a colonoscopy, patients should avoid driving and operating machinery while the sedative wears off, pass gas to relieve cramping and bloating, and resume their normal diet upon returning home, according to MedicineNet. If polyps were removed, activities and diet may be restricted for some time.

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Full Answer

Patients should expect a full recovery by the next day after a colonoscopy, as stated by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Some results are available immediately after the procedure, and the doctor may discuss them with the patient as soon as the anesthesia wears off. Biopsy tissue must be examined by a pathologist, so these results may not be available for several days.

Patients are kept in an observation room for an hour or two following a colonoscopy, explains MedicineNet. Complications are uncommon and generally minor when the procedure is performed by a specially trained professional, but some patients may experience bleeding at the site of a polyp removal or biopsy. This can normally be controlled through a colonoscope and rarely requires surgery or a transfusion. Other potential complications include perforation of the colonic wall, reactions to sedatives or irritation at the site of the injection of medications. Patients should immediately contact the doctor who performed the colonoscopy if they experience fever and chills, severe abdominal pain or excessive rectal bleeding.

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