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Colonoscopy (cont.)

After the Colonoscopy Procedure

The patient will go home later the same day when having a colonoscopy, because it is done as an outpatient procedure (without checking into the hospital). But before going home, the patient will be observed for some time and monitored until the effects of the medications have resolved. The patient should make arrangements for someone to come to the clinic and take them home, because nausea, bloating, and drowsiness can continue for some time after the procedure. Recovery time after the procedure can vary. If there are no complications it can range from a few hours to a few days.

Next Steps after Colonoscopy

Upon discharge, the doctor will give the patient a follow-up appointment. The final results of the test are generally available at that appointment, although biopsy results may take some time. The doctor may give the patient specific instructions in regard to what symptoms to monitor, which ones are normal, and which are more serious. The patient may also be advised when to start eating and told to slowly increase dietary intake.

When to Seek Medical Care for Colonoscopy Complications

Call a doctor if any unexpected symptoms occur, including:

  • Persistent nausea
  • Persistent but minor bleeding
  • Ongoing bloating and abdominal discomfort

If there are additional concerns, call the doctor's office for advice and evaluation.

Minor symptoms, such as bloating, are common after this procedure. More serious symptoms should prompt the patient to seek urgent medical attention. Call your physician and go directly to the emergency department if the patient experiences any of the following:

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/2/2016
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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

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Colonoscopy enables visual inspection of the entire large bowel from the distal rectum to the cecum.

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