Colonoscopy: recovery


Recovery from a colonoscopy , a procedure to examine the colon, usually takes about a day. To help with healing, be sure to follow all instructions after your procedure. This can include rest, drinking plenty of fluids, and avoiding alcohol for the first 24 hours.

Most people do not need to be watched during their recovery. However, if certain symptoms appear, you may need to consult with your healthcare professional. You can also expect your healthcare provider to contact you to discuss your results.

This article explains what to expect during your colonoscopy recovery, how to care for yourself after the procedure, and what the different test results mean.

Get Medication Information / Brooke Pelchinski

Colonoscopy Recovery Instructions

Once you are allowed out after your procedure, you will need to follow your healthcare provider's instructions. This could include:

  • Rest the day of the procedure and resume your normal activities the next day.
  • Resume a regular diet
  • Stop taking certain medications (for example, non-steroidal anti -inflammatory drugs) if tissue samples or tumors have been removed.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to replace fluid loss during your bowel prep .
  • Avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours.
  • Do not use any equipment, including a car, or make important decisions until the anti-anxiety medication wears off, which can take 24 hours.

When to seek medical help

Call your doctor right away or go to the emergency room if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Fever or chills
  • Large amounts of blood in the stool.
  • Inability to pass gas
  • Breathing problems, chest pain, or leg swelling.
  • Severe or prolonged abdominal pain, bloating, or constriction.
  • Nausea and vomiting

Keep in mind that mild cramps after the procedure are considered normal.

Post-colonoscopic nervousness

Many will be pleasantly surprised at how easy your colonoscopy is. However, waiting for test results can be problematic.

Spending time with loved ones, listening to music or podcasts, and watching movies are great ways to help you get through this potentially stressful time.

Keep in mind that colonoscopy is one of the most useful tools for detecting cancer. Not only can it detect cancer in the earliest and most treatable stages, it can also prevent cancer by removing harmful growths.

Colonoscopy observation

Follow-up after your colonoscopy depends on several factors, including:

  • Whether biopsies or tissue samples were taken
  • If polyps have been removed, abnormal growths in the colon
  • General conclusions
  • Your healthcare provider's preferences.

Any sample of tissue or polyp should be examined by an expert known as a pathologist . The pathologist determines if the tissue is healthy, if there is cancer, or if the tissue is likely to become cancerous. It may take several days to obtain these results.

Some healthcare providers will discuss the results over the phone or send you a copy of the report by email. Other healthcare providers may want to discuss the results in person at a follow-up appointment.

If you have not received a response from your healthcare provider within seven to ten days, be sure to call their office. It is important that you receive a complete report of the results of your colonoscopy.

Colonoscopy results

Your healthcare provider can discuss various possible results of your colonoscopy with you.

A normal colonoscopy means that none of the following were seen:

If your colonoscopy is considered normal and you have an average risk of colon cancer, your healthcare provider will most likely recommend another procedure after 10 years.

An average risk person is someone who does not have any of the following:

An abnormal colonoscopy means that a polyp, adenoma, cancer, or other problem has been found. If it is abnormal, you will probably need another colonoscopy three years later. You may also be referred to a specialist.

If colorectal cancer is found during the colonoscopy, it will need to be examined by an oncologist in a few days. An oncologist is a doctor who provides treatment and care for patients with cancer.

Depending on the results of your colonoscopy, you may also be referred to a gastroenterologist , a doctor who treats conditions related to the digestive tract.


A normal colonoscopy result means that you have an average risk of developing colon cancer later in life and can wait 10 years before having another colonoscopy.

An abnormal colonoscopy result means that you will need another colonoscopy in three years or less and will likely be referred to a specialist for further evaluation.


A colonoscopy is a procedure that helps detect cancer and other problems in the digestive tract. Recovery from a colonoscopy usually happens very quickly, and most people return to normal activities the next day. Depending on your results, your healthcare provider may refer you to a specialist.

Get the word of drug information

For most people, recovering from a colonoscopy is a simple and quick process. Knowing the importance of this test, it is your responsibility to schedule it, rest afterward, and follow up according to the recommendations of your healthcare provider.

Frequently asked questions

  • If your healthcare provider removed polyps or took a biopsy during your procedure, yes, a little bleeding is normal. For some, bleeding can start a week or two after the colonoscopy. Talk to your doctor if bleeding is heavy or if you have any problems.

  • Usually after the procedure, you can return to your normal diet. However, you can opt for light meals that are easy to digest. This can include crackers, toast, cooked vegetables, and some seasoned chicken or fish. You can wait a day before eating foods that give you gas or bloating, such as beans, onions, cabbage, and broccoli.

  • It may take a few days for your body to clear and clear your stool again. The amount of time will vary from person to person.

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