Top of the page
After a colonoscopy, you'll stay at the clinic for 1 to 2 hours until the medicines wear off. Then you can go home. But you'll need to arrange for a ride. Your doctor will tell you when you can eat and do your other usual activities.
Your doctor will talk to you about when you'll need your next colonoscopy. Your doctor can help you decide how often you need to be checked. This will depend on the results of your test and your risk for colorectal cancer.
After the test, you may be bloated or have gas pains. You may need to pass gas. If a biopsy was done or a polyp was removed, you may have streaks of blood in your stool (feces) for a few days. Problems such as heavy rectal bleeding may not occur until several weeks after the test. This isn't common. But it can happen after polyps are removed.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line (811 in Alberta) if you have any problems or questions.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter E264 in the search box to learn more about "Colonoscopy: What to Expect at Home".
Adaptation Date: 5/5/2021
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 2006-2021 Healthwise, Incorporated. All rights reserved. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.