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How will I feel afterward? Will I need someone to drive me home?

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How will I feel afterward? Will I need someone to drive me home?

Most people feel okay after a colonoscopy. You may feel a bit drowsy from the drugs (anesthesia). You will be monitored in the recovery room and the major effects wear off rapidly. You may feel some cramping or bloating because of the air that was introduced into the bowel during the procedure. This should disappear quickly with the passage of gas. Side effects from the anaesthesia such as nausea and vomiting are uncommon. It is illegal for you to drive on the day of the procedure. Because of the medicines given for the procedure, you will need someone to escort you home and stay with you for 12 hours following. You must not drive a vehicle, operate machinery or sign important documents. You must be careful with simple household tasks for 12 hours following the procedure as your coordination may be impaired for sometime.

Other considerations following colonoscopy:

  • Diet — generally, you will be able to eat normally after the colonoscopy. If your doctor recommends diet modifications, you will be instructed regarding this. If you feel nauseous or are having persistent pain, you should inform the recovery room nurse or call your doctor. If you feel the onset of nausea when you start to eat, it is best to stop eating; usually the nausea will pass and you will be able to resume eating several hours later. Sometimes this nausea or upset stomach is due to the medications given during the colonoscopy.
  • Results/Biopsy Results — you will be handed a typed report following your procedure and a report will be sent to the referring doctor. It will take approximately 2-3 days to receive the results of any biopsy. Please follow up with your referring doctor at this time.
  • Activity — you should not drive a vehicle or perform strenuous activities on the afternoon or evening following colonoscopy. Unless you have had a polypectomy, you should be able to resume all normal activities the day after your colonoscopy. If you have any doubts about resuming an activity, call your doctor.
  • Medications — you should resume your usual medications on the evening following your colonoscopy. It is especially important that you resume taking your cardiac and blood pressure medications. For other blood thinners your physician will give you specific instructions.
  • Air Travel – If you have had polyps removed, you must not undertake domestic air travel for 48 hours, and international or remote travel for two (2) weeks after your procedure.