A colonoscopy is a vital screening procedure for general health and wellness in all adults 50 years of age and older. This endoscopic procedure can detect polyps, tumors, inflammation or any other abnormalities that are asymptomatic or otherwise undetectable by other tests. And while your gastroenterologist has made sure you’re well-versed in the at-home preparation for the endoscopic screening, as well as the procedural steps of a colonoscopy, you may have some questions about what comes after.
To ease your mind, Baton Rouge gastroenterologists have answered common—but crucial—questions regarding what to expect after your colonoscopy:
How long do I have to stay on-site after my colonoscopy?
After the exam, it will normally take about an hour to recover from the sedative, during which you’ll remain on-site. Although we use sedation that wears off quickly, it can take up to 24 hours for the full effects of the sedative to wear off, so remember to take the day off work and avoid operating heavy machinery.
Is it safe to drive myself home after a colonoscopy?
Please arrange a ride home. Whether it’s taking an Uber or having a friend drive you to and from your appointment, it’s imperative that you don’t fight the effects of the sedative as they wear off. We cannot do your procedure unless you have an arranged ride.
Do I have to stick to the pre-colonoscopy diet?
Unless you have had a polyp removed during your colonoscopy, or your doctor advises you about diet, you should be able to resume your normal diet immediately following the procedure. You may experience bloating, mild cramping, or the sensation of having gas, but these should pass quickly.
Are there any post-colonoscopy side effects I should watch for?
Bloating or a sensation of gas in the abdomen will pass once you are able to eliminate the air in the colon. In some cases, you may experience a trace amount of blood in your stool following your colonoscopy—if you have problem with hemorrhoids, etc. However, if you begin to experience severe abdominal pain, fever, chills, or if the rectal bleeding is prolonged or excessive, please contact your gastroenterologist immediately. These symptoms could indicate a complication that requires immediate attention.
For other questions or concerns regarding your upcoming colonoscopy, feel free to call the digestive health experts of Baton Rouge.
By scheduling your colonoscopy, you’ve taken another step on the journey to lifelong digestive health. With the largest association of board-certified gastroenterologists in Baton Rouge and surrounding regions, the facilities and services of Gastroenterology Associates are here to help you on every step of this vital journey.