You have just had a colonoscopy or gastroscopy. These instructions contain information about what to expect over the next week. Please telephone our office or got to your nearest emergency room if you have:
- Severe or persistent abdominal pain
- Bloody bowel movements
Our physician or nurse manager will speak with you and decide a course of action. If biopsies were taken from the colon or if a polyp was removed, you will be returning to our office within a few weeks to have a follow-up appointment with the physician who performed the procedure to discuss your results.
Bleeding: Bleeding may occur after taking a biopsy or after the removal of a polyp. A small amount of blood in the stool is not uncommon after a colonoscopy, but the passage of an entire bloody bowel movement should be immediately reported. You will have been informed if there was any bleeding at the time of the procedure. Although rare, bleeding may still occur up to ten days after a polyp was removed.
Pain: Many patients experience normal discomfort due to the air pumped in to the colon during the procedure, but this usually subsides over the course of a few hours.
Intravenous Problems: The medications injected in your arm vein may cause local swelling and discomfort that may last 1 to 2 weeks. Although this may become bothersome, it is almost never serious. Please contact your doctor if local redness, swelling or tenderness near the injection site worsens in the days following your procedure as this may indicate a skin infection.
Food: The bowel preparation has emptied your gastrointestinal tract. We recommend that you avoid heavy or fatty meals today. DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL on the day of the procedure. A normal diet may begin on the day after the procedure. After a gastroscopy procedure, do not eat or drink anything for approximately 2 hours and avoid hot food or drink when you begin to eat.
Activities: The sedation you receive will make you less alert than normal. DO NOT DRIVE or exercise today. Be extra cautious during physical activity today. You may resume normal activities tomorrow. Strenuous exercise should not be performed for 48 hours unless your physician otherwise advises you.
Medications: You may resume all medications after your colonoscopy/gastroscopy. If a polyp was removed, your physician may advise you to avoid aspirin-containing medications for several days.
It is normal with a colonoscopy because your colon has been completed cleansed that you will not experience any bowel activity for up to the next 3 days.