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Colonoscopy

How It Is Done continued...

The scope is slowly pulled out of your anus and the air escapes. Your anal area will be cleaned with tissues. If you are having cramps, passing gas may help relieve them.

The test usually takes 30 to 45 minutes, but it may take longer, depending upon what is found and what is done during the test.

After the test

After the test, you may need to stay at the clinic for 1 to 2 hours. Or you may be allowed to leave sooner with the person who will be driving you home. Your doctor will tell you when you can eat your normal diet and do your normal activities. Drink a lot of fluid after the test to replace the fluids you may have lost during the colon prep, but do not drink alcohol.

If you received a sedative during the test, do not drive, operate machinery, or sign legal documents for 24 hours after the test. Arrange to have someone drive you home after the test.

How It Feels

The colon prep will cause diarrhea. Some people also have cramping.

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 doctor.

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 14 days.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 30, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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