Colonoscopy is a procedure where a gastroenterologist inspects the lining of large bowel. This is achieved by using a long flexible tube that has a light and a video camera at the tip, known as a colonoscope. The images are transmitted on a monitor.
The colonoscope is inserted into the bottom (anus) and then slowly advanced along the large bowel. The lining is visually examined and small samples (biopsies) are taken for further tests.
Preparing for a colonoscopy:
- Before having a colonoscopy, the bowel needs to completely empty. To make sure this happens your child needs to follow the instructions attached.
- You will be informed (by our anesthetist) when to stop eating and drinking, or stop taking usual medicine depending on the time of day your procedure has been scheduled.
- Most medicines can be taken as usual, however if you are unsure please speak to your child’s doctor/anesthetist.
- A colonoscopy is performed under a general anesthetic, so your child will be asleep during the whole procedure. For details of the anesthetic please read the attached brochure.
- The procedure takes about 45 – 60 minutes.
What are the risk or side effects?
Although complications can occur after a colonoscopy, they are rare when performed by doctors who are specially trained in colonoscopy.
- A small amount of blood might be seen in your child’s bowel actions (poo) after colonoscopy. However, very rarely blood may be more and need urgent medical attention.
- In very rare situations lining of the large bowel could be torn that may require an operation to repair it.
- Reactions to sedative are also possible, but again are very rare.
- In very few cases, if the colonoscopy could not be successfully completed it may need to be repeated.
You may administer some pain relief such as paracetamol every 4 to 6 hours for one to two days if needed. Read the bottle for correct dose for your child according to the age. Ask someone if you need help.
Do not give any medicine with paracetamol in it more than four times in 24 hours.
When do I seek help?
If you / your child has following symptoms in the hours or days after the colonoscopy you should contact the rooms or proceed to the closest emergency department.
- Vomited more than 2 to 3 times.
- Vomit with more than 2 to 3 mls. (Half teaspoon) of bright red blood in it.
- Bowel actions with more than usual red blood in it.
- Fever (Temperature above 38 degrees Celsius).
- Increasing throat, chest or abdominal pain.
- Severe abdominal bloating.
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Any other symptoms that causes concern.
Who can I contact if have any questions?
Please contact the rooms on 1300-742-787 during weekdays.
After hours proceed to the closest emergency department or your family doctor. In an emergency contact the ambulance service by calling triple zero (000).