9 Things That Happen at a Colonoscopy

9 Things That Happen at a Colonoscopy

Nervous for your colonoscopy? Get an idea of what will go on at your colonoscopy and feel more prepared – here’s what will happen.

Your doctor has recommended that you go for a colonoscopy. Maybe it’s for a routine cancer screening, a chance to look for polyps or growths, or maybe you have some abdominal complaints that need to be checked out: whatever the reason, you may be nervous.

It’s hard to know what to expect, going into a medical procedure that you’ve never experienced before. And this time, for lack of subtlety, something is being stick up your bum. So, we don’t blame you.

But knowledge is power.  To get an idea of what will go on at your colonoscopy and feel more prepared, here is a list based on advice from the Mayo Clinic, of things that will likely happen:



1) You’ll Get to Wear One of Those Fashionable Hospital Gowns

Yes, the gown may be too breezy, but it’s required. You’ll likely be wearing nothing else, but remember, it’s temporary.

2) You Will Likely Take a Sedative

It will be mild and in pill form or combine with intravenous pain medication, so that you don’t feel a thing.

3) You’ll Likely Start by Lying on Your Side

You’ll be in this position with your knees drawn up to your chest- pretty picture.

4) The Doctor Will Insert the Colonoscope

Yes, now the device will go in your rectum. It’s long enough to reach the entire length of your colon and has a tiny light at the end. It also houses a tube that the doctor uses to push air into your colon, so they can get a good view of what’s going on. Check out this video to see how it works:


5) You Might Feel the Need to Poo

When more air is introduced in to your colon, you might feel the need to poop. You might also feel some abdominal cramping-but remember, it’s all temporary.

6) Other (Useful) Instruments Might Go Up There

Depending on the work being done, the doctor might insert additional tools inside you. This might be to take a tissue sample, or to remove polyps (bumpy growths) or other abnormal tissue.



7) Within an Hour, Your Sedative Will Wear Off

Someone will need to take you home, and your sedative will start to wear off, a process that could continue for up to a full day.

8) You Might Fart A lot

Having a colonoscopy could cause you to fart afterwards, as your body gets rid of all that extra air the doctor pumped into your colon. Not to worry- it will pass (no pun intended).

9) You Might Have Blood in Your Stool

When you first go to the bathroom after your exam, you might have a small of blood in your poo. Not to be alarmed, doctors say. If you have more than a small amount, or feel concerned, see a doctor.

The Mayo Clinic advises: “Consult your doctor if you continue to pass blood or blood clots or if you have persistent abdominal pain or a fever of 100 F (37.8 C) or higher.”

Some food for thought: someone likely just finished having their colonoscopy right now- and they survived and are on their way to feeling fine.

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