Colonoscopy in Children: What to Expect at Home

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Your Child's Recovery

Your child has had a colonoscopy. Your doctor used a thin, lighted tube called a colonoscope to look for causes of symptoms such as belly pain or blood in the stool.

Your child will stay at the clinic or hospital for 1 to 2 hours until the medicines wear off. You can then take your child home. Your doctor will tell you when your child can eat and do usual activities.

After the test, your child may be bloated or have gas pains. Your child may need to pass gas. If a biopsy was done or a polyp was removed, your child may have streaks of blood in stool (feces) for a few days.

This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for your child to recover. But each child recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to help your child get better as quickly as possible.

How can you care for your child at home?

Activity

  • Help your child rest as much as needed after going home.
  • Your child should be able to go back to his or her usual activities the day after the test.

Diet

  • Follow your doctor's directions for eating.
  • Be sure that your child drinks plenty of fluids (unless your doctor has said not to) to replace the fluids that were lost during the colon prep.

Medicines

  • Your doctor will tell you if and when your child can restart his or her medicines. The doctor will also give you instructions about your child taking any new medicines.
  • If a biopsy was done during the test, your doctor may not want your child to take aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve), for a few days.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • Your child passes out (loses consciousness).
  • Your child passes maroon or bloody stools.
  • Your child has severe belly pain.

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child's stools are black and tar-like.
  • Your child's stools have streaks of blood, but your child did not have a biopsy.
  • Your child has belly pain, or his or her belly is swollen and firm.
  • Your child vomits.
  • Your child has a fever.
  • Your child is very dizzy.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if your child has any problems.

Where can you learn more?

Go to http://www.healthwise.net/ed

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Current as of: July 26, 2016