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Possible Side Effects of a Colonoscopy

A colonoscopy is a straightforward procedure, although due to the nature of it, it is something people may not feel comfortable enquiring about.

One common question involves what a patient can expect to happen after a colonoscopy, in regard to what a patient should feel like and if there are any possible side effects.

Let’s answer some of those questions and hopefully provide the information you need.

What happens during a colonoscopy?

During a colonoscopy, the lining of the colon is checked for abnormalities. For more information on the treatment, we recommend reading our colonoscopy page, where we also provide information on bowel prep and what a patient would be expected to do so they can get ready for the procedure.

What happens right after a colonoscopy?

When an individual has a colonoscopy at OneWelbeck, they are given time to recover at the specialist gastrointestinal unit. It is important that a person is allowed to feel settled afterwards, especially when feeling tired.

Don’t forget that if someone needs to be sedated for the procedure, they need to arrange to be picked up so they can get home safely.

What should a person expect to feel after a colonoscopy?

If the colonoscopy were a purely investigative measure, someone would expect some bloating and cramps as the body settles down again.

When a colonoscopy is done for a biopsy or to have polyps carefully removed, a patient could expect some rectal bleeding for a few days after the procedure.

Some colonoscopies require the use of gas and air, which can make an individual feel dizzy or lightheaded for a short period.

What side effects can occur as a result of a colonoscopy?

A person shouldn’t expect any major difficulties after a colonoscopy and side effects are 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?

Someone will want to get in touch with their doctor after a colonoscopy if they 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 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.