Are there any risks to colonoscopy?

Are there any risks to colonoscopy?

This test is very safe, but there are some risks associated with this procedure.

These include:

  • A reaction to the sedative. The sedative can affect your breathing making it more slow and shallow;
  • When a biopsy is taken or a polyp is removed, rarely there may be a little bleeding. (Risk approximately one for every 100 to 200 examinations where a polyp is removed). If this does not stop within 24 hours or is excessive, please contact the Spencer Private Hospital Ward or Accident and Emergency (A&E);
  • Perforation, which is a little tear in the wall of the colon, this is also rare. (Risk approximately one for every 1000 examinations). This would require a short stay in hospital and treatment with antibiotics, or very occasionally may require surgical repair;
  • A feeling of bloating due the air we need to insert so we can clearly see where we are.
  • Please talk to your endoscopist before your examination if you have any worries about these risks.


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