Check Out How Long Does a Colonoscopy Take And Side Effects
Check Out How Long Does a Colonoscopy Take And Side Effects
It's important to carefully follow your healthcare provider's recommendations, including any dietary restrictions, bowel preparation, and medication instructions, to minimise the chance of side effects.

A telescopic and visual inspection of the colon and rectum is called a colonoscopy. It assists medical professionals in identifying intestinal anomalies, such as colorectal cancer symptoms. Doctors might recommend a colonoscopy because of your family history or the findings of a previous colonoscopy. In this write-up, we will discuss how long does a colonoscopy take and the side effects of it. 

How Long does a Colonoscopy Take?

From preparation to recovery and follow up, a colonoscopy procedure has several stages. Here is how long does a colonoscopy take and the whole procedure- 

1. Preparation (one to two days before the procedure)

In order to guarantee a comprehensive examination during the colonoscopy, the preparatory stage is essential. Prior to the surgery, you will be told to have a clear liquid diet for one or two days. To aid in colon cleansing, you will also need to consume a specific solution or take prescribed laxatives. You need to follow what your doctor advises you for the preparation. Generally it takes twenty four hours for the preparation.

2. Pre-Procedure (one hour max) 

For the pre-procedure, you need to report at the hospital at the appointed time, which is often half an hour to one hour minutes before the planned procedure. You will also need to fill out any paperwork, change into hospital gowns, and have an IV line installed in order to receive medication or sedatives at this time. A medical expert will go over your medical background, go over the procedure, and address any questions you may have.

3. Monitoring & Sedation (fifteen minutes)

You will receive a sedative via the IV line before the colonoscopy in order to help you unwind and make sure you're comfortable throughout the process. The sedative usually takes 10 to 15 minutes to start working. Throughout the process, your vital indicators, including blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen levels, will be checked.

4. The Main Procedure (twenty minutes to one hour)

So, how long does a colonoscopy take? Usually it takes from twenty to sixty minutes to complete the actual colonoscopy process, which involves inserting the colonoscope, a long, flexible tube with a camera on the end, into the rectum and moving it through the colon. The complexity of the examination, if further procedures are required, and the anatomy of the patient all affect how long it takes.


The colon's lining will be closely examined by the doctor throughout the process to look for any abnormalities, such as polyps, inflammation, or cancerous symptoms.

5. Recovery (One hour)

You'll be kept under observation in a recovery area following the colonoscopy until the sedation wears off, which takes a maximum of one hour. During this time, your vital signs will be monitored on a regular basis. It's natural to feel a little bloated or cramped, and these symptoms should pass quickly.

6. Follow-up

You will be released from the hospital as soon as your vital signs stabilise and you are completely conscious. Your doctor will go over the results of the colonoscopy with you and provide you any instructions or suggestions for any necessary follow-up care.

Side Effects of Colonoscopy

Now that you know how long does a colonoscopy take, let's check out the side effects of it. 

1. Bloating

Some people may feel uncomfortable or bloated in their abdomens after the surgery. The air that is injected into the colon during the colonoscopy to improve vision is typically the source of this. Usually, the pain goes away after a few hours when the air is belching or flatulence out.

2. Mild Stomach Pain

After a colonoscopy, many people feel moderate stomach pain, particularly if biopsies or polyps were removed. This is typically caused by the colon being stretched and moved during the surgery. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen, two over-the-counter pain relievers, can help reduce the discomfort.

3. Nausea or Vomiting

As a result of the sedatives or anaesthesia used during the colonoscopy, some individuals may have nausea or vomiting following the surgery. This is usually only transitory and can be treated with rest, fluids, and medications.

4. Rectal Bleeding or Spotting

If polyps were removed or samples were obtained, many patients experience rectal bleeding. Usually the bleeding stops in a day or two. However, it's crucial to get in touch with your healthcare professional right away if the bleeding continues or gets heavier.

5. Dizziness or Drowsiness

Following a colonoscopy, the sedatives used during the procedure may make you feel lightheaded or sleepy. For this reason, it's advised that you go home with a companion and steer clear of any tasks that call for coordination or attention for the rest of the day.


Knowing how long does a colonoscopy take gives you a clear idea about the whole procedure. It's important to carefully follow your healthcare provider's recommendations, including any dietary restrictions, bowel preparation, and medication instructions, to minimise the chance of side effects. If your colonoscopy results show no polyps and you fall into the average risk category, you won't need another one for ten years.


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