How to spot a complication after colonoscopy
Colonoscopy is a life saving procedure. Like most procedures, it comes with risks. These risks include bleeding, infection, and tear in the colon (perforation). These complications occur in less than one percent of patients. Complications that occur during colonoscopy are usually addressed by your doctor. How can you spot a complication after you have been discharged home from your colonoscopy?
- Abdominal pain: You may have some abdominal cramps following a colonoscopy. This is often due to the air used to inflate the colon during the procedure. You should not hold unto any gas or flatus. You should pass gas as much as possible. If you have persistent abdominal pain or cramps or if your pain is getting worse, you should contact your doctor immediately. This may be a sign of perforation.
- Fever: If you develop fever (temperature above 100.4 F) or chills after your colonoscopy, call your doctor. This may be a sign of infection.
- Bleeding: A small amount of rectal bleeding may be seen after colonoscopy especially after a biopsy or removal of polyp. If rectal bleeding is severe (large amount) or persistent, you should contact your doctor immediately. This may be a sign of serious bleeding.