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Possible Side Effects of a Colonoscopy

What is a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a camera examination where the lining of the colon is checked for abnormalities by inserting a tube through the bottom, usually under sedation. For more information on the treatment, we recommend reading our colonoscopy page, where we also provide information on bowel prep and what you would be expected to do to get ready for the procedure.

A colonoscopy is a straightforward procedure, but due to its sensitive nature, people may not feel comfortable enquiring about. You might wonder what a colonoscopy might feel like and what to expect after  the procedure, including what it and if there are any possible side effects. Let’s answer some of those commonly asked questions.

 How is colonoscopy different at OneWelbeck?

At OneWelbeck, all patients are provided with a personalised specialist app which is unique to OneWelbeck. All patients are provided with their own separate private cubical both before and after the procedure. All patients are offered sedation by an anaesthetist, who is present throughout the day in the unit.

How can I expect to feel after a colonoscopy?

If the colonoscopy were a purely investigative measure, you might expect some bloating and cramps as your body settles down again. Additionally, if biopsies are taken, or polyps are removed then you may experience a small amount of bleeding for a day or two.

Some colonoscopies are done using gas and air as a patient preference, which can make you feel dizzy or lightheaded for a short period.

After sedation, you may feel a little more tired for the rest of the day and will be advised to avoid driving for 24 hours, or operating any machinery and avoiding alcohol. Don’t forget that if you need to be sedated for the procedure, you will need to arrange to be picked up afterwards, to ensure you are able to get home safely. You can return to eating a normal diet straight away.

Following a colonoscopy, side effects are generally few and far between. In a small number of instances, side effects of a colonoscopy can include:

  • Nausea (from the anaesthesia)
  • Irritation around the rectum
  • Feeling gassy for a few days
  • Cramps, but nothing that would be deemed severe.

When can side effects be a warning sign of complications?

You should get in touch with their doctor after a colonoscopy if you start to experience persistent problems.

This can include:

  • Continued bleeding, or bleeding which gets worse
  • Severe pain in the abdomen
  • An unexplained fever or chills

If any of these happen, they should not be ignored. 

Get in touch with us for expert advice

If you, or someone you know, needs to have a colonoscopy carried out and would like to have it done by leading gastroenterologists, please get in touch with OneWelbeck Digestive Health today.

You can get in touch any time of time by leaving a message on our contact form here.

You can also phone us during the day on 020 653 2004.