As with any procedure, there are risks associated with a colonoscopy. Before obtaining your consent for the procedure,
the doctor will tell the patient about the potential risks.
- The most common side effects are cramping pain and abdominal swelling caused by the air used to inflate the colon during the procedure. This air is expelled shortly after the procedure, and these symptoms generally
resolve without medical treatment.
- If a biopsy is performed during the procedure, the patient may see small amounts of blood in the bowel movements after the examination. This may last a few days.
- Though rare, there is potential for the colonoscope to injure the intestinal wall, causing perforation, infection, or bleeding.
- Although this test is very helpful in finding the cause of many digestive diseases, abnormalities can go undetected. Factors that can affect this include the completeness of
the bowel preparation before the procedure, the skill of the operator of the colonoscope, and
the patient's anatomy.
- When this test is performed, the patient will be given sedating medications to make the test more comfortable. Whenever a medication is given, a risk of an allergic reaction or side effect of the medication itself is present. These IV medications are given under medical supervision, and
the patient will be monitored during the procedure to lessen the risk of medication-related complications.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/2/2014
Must Read Articles Related to Colonoscopy
Anatomy of the Digestive System
Digestion is the process in which food is broken into smaller pieces so the body can use them to build and nourish cells and provide energy. The digestive syste...learn more >>
Clostridium Difficile (C. difficile, C. diff)
Clostridium difficile (or C. difficile, C. diff) colitis is an infection of the colon. C. diff infection is most commonly associated with antibiotic use. Anothe...learn more >>
Colitis is an inflammation of the colon. There are many cause of colitis, infectious colitis (bacterial or viral), ischemic colitis, inflammatory bowel disease ...learn more >>
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Colonoscopy: