The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide
Diagnostic Tests - Colonoscopy
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Must I do anything special after the test is over?

  • Because you have been given a sedative, arrange for a friend or family member to drive you home afterward. Call your doctor if you have more than half a cup of bleeding from the rectum or if you have severe abdominal pain, fever, or chills.

    In rare cases, polyps that are separated from the colon wall cannot be pulled out of the colon with the scope. If this happens, your doctor might ask you to take a laxative and use a strainer to catch the polyp when you have a bowel movement, so it can be examined in the laboratory.

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