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Belly pain after colonoscopy is uncommon. When it happens, it can be due to many reasons. Air used to distend the colon during colonoscopy may be the cause. Therefore, let the air out. Fart! It may be something very serious like a tear in the colon otherwise known as perforation. You may need surgery for this.
What causes belly pain during colonoscopy
- Less experienced physician.
- Type of sedation used. Patients feel less pain when propofol is used compared to IV sedation with fentanyl and versed. Patients without sedation feel more pain compared to IV sedation. An experienced physician may do colonoscopy with little or no sedation.
- Type of air used to inflate the colon. During colonoscopy, air is introduced into the colon to distend it and make it easier to see polyps. Using carbon dioxide (C02) for inflate causes less pain than room air. C02 is absorbed across the intestine faster than room air.
- Low body weight. Patients with low body weight are more likely to have belly pain during colonoscopy than normal or overweight patients.
- Patient’s anticipation of pain level. Patients that have a high expectation of pain during colonoscopy actually experience more pain.
- Poor bowel preparation. Patients with poor bowel prep are more likely to have prolonged colonoscopy. Prolonged procedure may cause belly pain.
What causes belly pain after colonoscopy
- Complications of colonoscopy like perforation, injury to the spleen, appendicitis and post polypectomy electrocoagulation syndrome.
This is caused by injury to the wall and muscle of the colon from the electrocautery used in removing a polyp. The injury causes inflammation of the peritoneum without perforation. It occurs in 0.003% to 1% of colonoscopies. Symptoms and signs of post-polypectomy syndrome are abdominal pain, fever, chills, sweats, abdominal tenderness, leukocytosis and fast heart rate.
Symptoms start within 12 hours of colonoscopy but may be delayed up to 5-7 days after colonoscopy. A CT scan can distinguish between post-polypectomy syndrome and perforation.
Most patients with post-polypectomy syndrome can be treated conservatively with pain medications, intravenous fluids and bland diet. Some patients require antibiotics.
Symptoms usually go away within 2-5 days. Most patients do not require surgery.
How to prevent belly pain during colonoscopy
- Get colonoscopy from an experienced physician.
- Do not anticipate belly pain during colonoscopy.
- Ask for C02 instead of room air during colonoscopy.
- Make sure you have a good bowel prep for colonoscopy.
How to treat belly pain after colonoscopy
- Release gas. Please, fart away! If the air is trapped, exercises like walking or rolling on your back can help get rid of the air. Warm drinks can help the air pass through the body. A cup of coffee or tea especially a peppermint tea can be helpful. Peppermint is also used to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). An over the counter medication called simethicone can help. Simethicone is found in Gas-X, Alka-Seltzer Anti-Gas, Gas Aide, Mylanta Gas Maximum Strength, Mytab Gas and many other products. Simethicone makes gas come out easier because it allows gas bubbles to come together.
- If you have persistent abdominal pain or cramps or if your pain is getting worse, you should contact your doctor immediately.
How to spot a complication after colonoscopy.
Why People Hate Colonoscopy and What to do about It.
How to understand your colonoscopy result.
I had a colonoscopy 3 wks ago , I had a rough time afterwards , shock due to medication , I have since suffered pain on the Rt side , it seems to be getting worse , I have motions 3 one day non the next , no blood but soft , I really not sure what I should do , no temperature either , thanks
You should contact your physician as soon as possible.
Ann, same thing happened to me. I had pain under the ribs for 3 weeks. It’s getting better now, but It didnt go completely away yet. Did you see the doctor? Did your pain go away?
Hi there, I had a colonoscopy 2 days ago and have since been feeling sore and achy inside. I passed lots of gas already, and had 3 normalish bowel movements. No fever. The pain is only around if I move a certain way…like I can feel the inside of my intestines..not sure it that’s a normal side effect of having a long tube up there or if I should be worried.
Was room air or C02 used for insufflation? What was found during colonoscopy? You can try warm drink and Gas X. Make sure you talk to your physician.
i had a colonoscopy done 4 months ago and it was very painfull but ever since then i have had constant pain under my ribs but only when sitting up.my doctor has told me that it has nothing to do with my colonoscopy.what should i do,getting really worried.
Get a thorough evaluation from your doctor.
I had a colon os copy two days ago and have had left lower abdominal soreness since. Feels almost like diverticulitis that I’ve had frequently.
Contact your doctor. Consider warm drinks and Gas X.
Two days ago I had a colonoscopy, since the procedure I have had some pretty uncomfortable pain. Nothing to bad, but noticeable. He took a biopsy of my small intestine, and found that I have gastritis, ibs and a hiatal hernia. The pain is mostly around the top of my stomach around my bottom ribs and on my left side. It’s definitely my colon, but the best way to describe the pain is that my colon was stretched and is sore.
Hi, I had a colonoscopy 3 weeks ago. Got back in the emergency 5 days after because of an hemmoragy from a cut polyp. They clamped it many time because they had a hard time to reach it. Since then, 2 weeks ago, I got blood 2 days after again and then another time last week. There was a lot of blood but only once each time. I did not go back then because I did not was another colonoscopy. I waited to see if the problem would fix itself and it did. They problem I still have now is that persistant pain in my guts. At first, I was feeling gassy and bloated and going to the bathroom was not providing a real releif but I was very managable. With time it is getting worst, espicialy after I eat. It’s like the type of pain of gas but a little worst and does not go away anymore. Going to the bathroom does not provide releif. My stool have never go back to normal too. Its softer and either paler or darker than normal. I guess my intestine flora is out of wack… how long I should expect this to go back to normal? Its very long and not getting better after 2 weeks.
You should contact your physician for a detailed evaluation. Good luck!
Hi I had a colonoscopy yesterday, and today am having cramps, and pains going down legs and lower back. No bleeding. Is it normal to have cramps the day after?
I’m a 23 yr old female and had a colonoscopy 3 days ago. Had a few biopsies done. Stomach still descend, no stool nor gas has been able to be passed yet. Not sure if I should call my doctor. I don’t have a fever but been having heat flashes, extreme pain after eating a light Low FODMAP meal. My gut is making noises, so I thought that was a good thing. I’m in more pain than I was before my colonoscopy.
I’m experiencing the same thing. Just woke up with cramps and hot flashes. Sat on the toilet abd passed gas and some liquid. It almost feels like bad period cramps.
I had colonoscopy 10 days ago. 6 days after terrible stomach ache. Belly pain has continued from belly button down to pubic area and over to right side. Hurts mainly with jerky movements coughing and when sitting. Sometimes feels like a lot of pressure and pain in rectum when sitting on pot.
Contact your physician ASAP.
I had a colonoscopy 2 days ago. When I got home from the procedure my pain progressively got worse. Spreading from my lower abdomen all the way to my neck. I had sever contractions from my neck to chest making it extremely difficult to breathe. We called the ambulance and they claimed it was the gas used from the colonoscopy and that it had spread upwards. Is this true?