What Are Side Effects of a Colonoscopy?

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Side effects of a colonoscopy may include cramping and bloating for about an hour after the exam, suggests the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Bleeding and perforation are serious side effects that occur less often.

Colonoscopy is used to screen for colorectal cancer. It helps to detect and diagnose abnormalities inside the colon. To prepare for the procedure, patients follow diet and fluid restrictions and take an oral laxative to ensure that the gastrointestinal tract is clear of waste, states WebMD.

A colonoscopy uses a camera on the end of a long, skinny tube to view inside the colon and determine if there is any swelling or health issues that may be causing symptoms or issues. Anesthesia is given to the patient before the exam. Afterwards, they may be required to stay at the hospital for a period of time while it wears off and they recover from the exam.

There are not many side effects associated with a colonoscopy. Serious side effects, such as cardiovascular issues and severe abdominal pain, may occur. However, they are extremely rare. If they do occur, the patient should consult a medical professional.