During the colonoscopy recovery, it is common to feel mild cramping and bloating from the air that partially filled your colon during the procedure. Most patients leave the medical facility about an hour after undergoing a colonoscopy. The most important part of colonoscopy recovery is following your healthcare provider's instructions for diet, driving, activity level, medication, and followup appointments.
Colonoscopy Recovery: Immediately After the Procedure
After the procedure, you will be moved to a nearby area, where healthcare providers will watch you closely. If you are an inpatient, you may be moved to your hospital room, or you may stay in the endoscopy area. If you are an outpatient, then you will probably be allowed to leave in about one hour.
During your recovery period, healthcare professionals will regularly check on how you are doing. Your stomach may feel sore for a while, and you may have mild cramping and bloating from the air that partially filled your colon during the procedure. This should get better with the passage of gas. It is normal and expected to have more gas than usual for up to a day after the procedure.
Remember that your healthcare team wants you to get better without any problems, so be sure to let them know how you are feeling, especially if anything feels abnormal or "not right."
Colonoscopy Recovery: Leaving the Facility
When you leave the facility, you should be given specific instructions for diet, driving, activity level, medication, followup appointments, and any further restrictions that are necessary. Your healthcare provider should also let you know of any symptoms that require immediate medical attention.
You should be sure to have a friend or family member drive you home, because the medicine that made you sleepy for your procedure does impair your reflexes and judgment.