Durham EndoSurgery Centre

Information for after your procedure

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what to expect after your procedure
If you had colonoscopy or gastroscopy, you have received IV sedation during your procedure today. While you are now awake, it is normal for you to feel more tired today.

Do not drive a motor vehicle, operate heavy machinery or make important decisions until tomorrow, as the sedation may potentially affect your reflexes and judgement.
Rest today, and you may return to your work and normal daily activities tomorrow.
 

AFTER COLONOSCOPY

During the procedure, air is pumped into the colon. It is normal for you to feel bloated for a short time after the procedure. This may be relieved by walking, drinking warm fluids such as tea, or lying on your side, and trying to pass the gas. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

You may notice a small amount of bleeding, particularly if polyps have been removed, or biopsies taken. This should not continue past 24 hours, and should not increase during the post-procedure period. A small amount on the paper, or a tinge in the bowl is not a cause for concern. Most important is the trend, rather than the amount. Any bleeding (other than that described above) that is still present after 12 hours or that is increasing, is a reason to contact us. Any bleeding so significant that the bowel movement is essentially blood only, without stool, is a reason for immediate assessment by a doctor. If for whatever reason Durham EndoSurgery Centre is not open, please go to your local emergency room, and remember to bring your disc containing the pictures and operative note from your procedure.

It is not normal for you to experience any significant or increasing pain following your colonoscopy. It is not normal for you to have a fever. Any increasing abdominal pain (beyond the gas pains described above - which should dissipate on the same day as your procedure), or fever over 38C is a reason to consider contacting Durham EndoSurgery Centre, or if we are closed, proceed to your local emergency room.

Otherwise, aside from some potential gas discomfort, and mild bloating, you should not experience any significant symptoms following your procedure, and should be able to return to all your regular activities the following morning. Some patients may experience minor changes to their bowel habit over the following days or weeks, but these all return to normal quite quickly.
 

AFTER GASTROSCOPY

Following your gastroscopy, your throat may feel sore because the scope has been inserted. Any discomfort should be minor, improving, and should improve in 24 hours. Very occasionally patients will inadvertently bite on the bite-block, and can pinch their tongue or cheek in doing so - this is not a cause for concern and should resolve within a day or so.

You may feel bloated because of the gas pumped in during the procedure. This can be relieved by walking, drinking warm fluids such as tea, burping, or trying to pass gas.

Gastroscopy should result in little or no significant symptoms beyond a few hours . Do not drive a motor vehicle, operate heavy machinery or make important decisions until tomorrow, as the sedation may potentially affect your reflexes and judgement. Rest today, and you may return to your work and normal daily activities tomorrow.
 

AFTER SIGMOIDOSCOPY

During the procedure, air is pumped into the colon. It is normal for you to feel bloated for a short time after the procedure. This may be relieved by walking, drinking warm fluids such as tea, or lying on your side, and trying to pass the gas. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

If no polyps or biopsies have been removed, you should have no symptoms from the brief procedure, typically lasting a few minutes only. You may resume all activities as normal.

If polyps have been removed, or biopsies taken, you may notice a small amount of bleeding (most patients do not). This should not continue past 24 hours, and should not increase during the post-procedure period. A small amount on the paper, or a tinge in the bowl is not a cause for concern. Most important is the trend, rather than the amount. Any bleeding (other than that described above) that is still present after 12 hours or that is increasing, is a reason to contact us. Any bleeding so significant that the bowel movement is essentially blood only, without stool, is a reason for immediate assessment by a doctor. If for whatever reason Durham EndoSurgery Centre is not open, please go to your local emergency room, and remember to bring your disc containing the pictures and operative note from your procedure.

If you had hemorrhoid bands placed at the time of your sigmoidoscopy, then please see the next section, as well.
 

AFTER HEMORRHOID BANDING


Hemorrhoid banding is a treatment usually performed at the time of flexible sigmoidoscopy (above), or colonoscopy. You may or may not have been awake for this brief application. The bands 'pinch' hemorrhoid veins off, and are intended to fall off by themselves,over the next 24-72 hours. You may or may not see them in the toilet bowl as round, black mini elastic bands, abut 5mm in diameter.

These bands are inside the rectum, and in the first few hours should not cause more than a mild, dull ache, or urge to defecate for 24-48 hours. Many patients experience no discomfort whatsoever.

You may also have some increased bleeding in the first seven days, which is normal. When the bands fall off, they will leave a tiny 'scab' in the rectum that may bleed as much, or very occasionally more, than your previous hemorrhoids. This bleeding may be more prominent in the first week or so, but will improve daily, as the 'scab' heals, leaving a normal rectum, and hopefully fewer hemorrhoid veins inside. The time to evaluate the success of the procedure will be in one month.

Like other symptoms described above, the absolute amount of symptoms are not as important as the trend in symptoms. You shouldn't have pain that is continually escalating, and you should not have bleeding that is worsening hourly or daily. If you are having bowel movements with only blood within, (and no stool), or if you are having escalating pain that is not amenable to non-prescription analgesics, that may require assessment by Durham EndoSurgery Centre, or if we are closed, a physician in your local emergency room.

The most rare but serious complication of hemorrhoid bands can be a spreading infection in the area of the rectum and genitals - usually characterized by increasing pain, and high fever. Any fever over 38C following placement of hemorrhoid bands is abnormal, especially in conjunction with increasing pain, and is always a reason to seek reassessment. The vast majority of patients experience no symptoms whatsoever from this brief procedure, and enjoy a significant reduction in hemorrhoid bleeding for months, occasionally years.