2016-06-16 15:36:53 UTC

Colonoscopy 107: Safety

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Safety/Adverse Reactions of a Colonoscopy

Although colonoscopy is a safe test, complications can happen sometimes. Problems during a colonoscopy are rare. 


Colonoscopy – What to Know:


  • A colonoscopy is a safe and effective test to look at your colon and rectum.
  • You will be given a medicine to make you feel sleepy (r totally asleep) for your colonoscopy.
  • A thin, flexible tube with a light and camera on the end is put into your rectum.
  • This test is used to look for and prevent colon cancer and can also find the cause of other gastrointestinal (GI) health issues.
  • Talk to your doctor to ensure you are getting a high-quality colonoscopy.

Some examples may be:

  • Tearing or puncturing of the colon walls, which could call for emergency surgery to fix.
  • When a polyp is taken out or a biopsy (taking a small piece of tissue to look at under a microscope) is done, it could result in heavy bleeding.
    • Sometimes a blood transfusion is needed.
    • Sometimes the colonoscope needs to be put back in to control the bleeding.
  • You should know that colonoscopy is not perfect and even with a skilled doctor, some colon lesions (abnormalities) might be missed.

Be sure to talk with your doctor about any specific concerns you may have about the test.





© AGA, September 2017

©AGA, July 2016

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