How It Feels
This test can be uncomfortable and you
may feel embarrassed. The colon prep will cause diarrhea and cramping which may
make you use the bathroom often during the night.
During the test,
you may feel very sleepy and relaxed from the sedative and pain medicines. You
may have cramping or feel brief, sharp pain when the scope is moved or air is
blown into your colon. As the scope is moved up the colon, you may feel the
need to have a bowel movement and pass gas. If you are having pain, tell your
The suction machine used to remove stool (feces) and
secretions may be noisy but does not cause pain.
You will feel
sleepy after the test for a few hours. Many people say they do not remember
very much about the test because of the sedative.
After the test,
you may have bloating or crampy gas pains and may need to pass some gas. If a
biopsy was done or a polyp taken out, you may have traces of blood in your
stool (feces) for a few days. If polyps were taken out, your doctor may
instruct you to not take aspirin and
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for 7 to
There is a small chance for problems from a
colonoscopy. The scope or a small tool may tear the lining of the colon or
After the test
After the test, call your doctor
immediately if you:
- Have heavy rectal bleeding.
severe belly pain.
- Develop a fever.
- Are very
- Are vomiting.
- Have a swollen and firm
Colonoscopy is a test that allows your
doctor to look at the inner lining of your
large intestine (rectum and colon). If a sample of tissue (biopsy) was collected during the colonoscopy, it will
be sent to a lab for tests.
- Samples of colon tissue are usually sent to a
pathology lab, where they are looked at under a microscope for
- Other samples of colon tissue may be sent to a
microbiology lab to see whether an infection is present.
Your doctor may be able to tell you the results immediately
after the procedure. Other test results are ready in 2 to 4 days. Test results
for certain infections may be ready in several weeks.
The lining of the colon looks
smooth and pink, with a lot of normal folds. No growths, pouches, bleeding, or
inflammation are present.
Some common abnormal findings
of colonoscopy include
hemorrhoids (the most common cause of blood in the
polyps, tumors, one or more sores (ulcers), pouches in the wall of the colon (diverticulosis), or inflammation. A red, swollen
lining of the colon (colitis) may be caused by infection or
inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).