Colonoscopy

Care After

Read the instructions outlined below and refer to this sheet in the next few weeks. These discharge instructions provide you with general information on caring for yourself after you leave the hospital. Your doctor may also give you specific instructions. While your treatment has been planned according to the most current medical practices available, unavoidable complications occasionally occur. If you have any problems or questions after discharge, call your doctor.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

ACTIVITY:

  • You may resume your regular activity, but move at a slower pace for the next 24 hours.

  • Take frequent rest periods for the next 24 hours.

  • Walking will help get rid of the air and reduce the bloated feeling in your belly (abdomen).

  • No driving for 24 hours (because of the medicine (anesthesia) used during the test).

  • You may shower.

  • Do not sign any important legal documents or operate any machinery for 24 hours (because of the anesthesia used during the test).

NUTRITION:

  • Drink plenty of fluids.

  • You may resume your normal diet as instructed by your doctor.

  • Begin with a light meal and progress to your normal diet. Heavy or fried foods are harder to digest and may make you feel sick to your stomach (nauseated).

  • Avoid alcoholic beverages for 24 hours or as instructed.

MEDICATIONS:

  • You may resume your normal medications unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

WHAT TO EXPECT TODAY:

  • Some feelings of bloating in the abdomen.

  • Passage of more gas than usual.

  • Spotting of blood in your stool or on the toilet paper.

IF YOU HAD POLYPS REMOVED DURING THE COLONOSCOPY:

  • No aspirin products for 7 days or as instructed.

  • No alcohol for 7 days or as instructed.

  • Eat a soft diet for the next 24 hours.

FINDING OUT THE RESULTS OF YOUR TEST

Not all test results are available during your visit. If your test results are not back during the visit, make an appointment with your caregiver to find out the results. Do not assume everything is normal if you have not heard from your caregiver or the medical facility. It is important for you to follow up on all of your test results.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You have more than a spotting of blood in your stool.

  • Your belly is swollen (abdominal distention).

  • You are nauseated or vomiting.

  • You have a fever.

  • You have abdominal pain or discomfort that is severe or gets worse throughout the day.