How much time should I request off for work for an endoscopy/colonoscopy?

February 16, 2010

Colonoscopy is a procedure that allows examination of the entire colon and a distal part of the small bowel through a tube that has a camera on it that is passed through the anus. An upper gastrointestinal tract endoscopy refers to an endoscopy of the throat up to the duodenum and is done by inserting the tube through your mouth. In case of an endoscopy it is essential that you do not eat or drink anything a few hours before the test and in case of a colonoscopy, the colon should be free of any solid matter so that the test can be conducted appropriately. For this purpose, you will need to switch to a diet that is low in fiber or to a clear liquid diet only for one to three days. It is important that you keep yourself hydrated and a day prior to the colonoscopy you will be given either a laxative preparation or whole bowel irrigation to clear the colon of solid matter. Sedation is often given intravenously and the endoscope is then passed through the anus.

After the procedure, you would be kept in a recovery room for about 30 to 60 minutes under observation till the sedation wears off and you are allowed to leave for home the same day after discussing the test reports with your doctor. Common after effects from colonoscopy includes bouts of flatulence and minor gas or wind pain resultant from air insufflations during the procedure. On the other hand, you might experience a mild sore throat after an endoscopy. You are cautioned not to handle any machinery or drive back on your own because of the use of sedative; therefore, it is advised that you have a responsible person along with you who will drive you back after the surgery. In case of either an endoscopy or a colonoscopy, you can get back to your daily routine within a day’s time. You can thus take a day or a maximum of 2 days as off. Colonoscopy poses a low risk of serious complications but in the rare even of such a complication developing it generally would be a tear or hole in the colon’s lining. This is a very serious condition that can be fatal and therefore requires immediate surgery. However, this is a rarity and the chances are in fact lower than 1 in 2000 cases. In case of severe abdominal pain, cough, fever, nausea, vomiting or chest pain within 72 hours of an endoscopy it is suggested that you see your doctor immediately.

Submitted by M T on February 16, 2010 at 05:28

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