Colonoscopy and polypectomy are generally safe procedures. The following complications can occur:1) Bleeding – is an uncommon complication but it is more common after a polypectomy than a procedure not requiring the removal of polyps. The risk after polypectomy is less than 1%. Bleeding can occur up to 14 days after the procedure. It usually stops on it’s own, but occasionally a repeat colonoscopy is required to identify a bleeding site and stop the bleeding. On rare occasions, a transfusion is required. Contact Barrie Endoscopy or go to your nearest Emergency Room if you develop bleeding following your procedure.
2) Perforation – is a tear or puncture in the bowel wall and it can occur during or after colonoscopy. The risk is less than 1 in 1,000 cases. Perforations can be treated conservatively but sometime surgery is required for repair.
3) Heart and lung problems during and after colonoscopy are rare. They include low oxygen, lower blood pressure and altered pulse rate. All these parameters are closely monitored during the procedure.
4) Anaesthesia related complications are also not common. Allergic reactions, IV site inflammation, nausea and vomiting occasionally develop after the procedure and may be related to the sedating agents.
5) Polyps or colon cancer may be missed. Colonoscopy is the best method of examining the bowel for polyps or cancer but occasionally small lesions are still missed. The risks are higher if your bowel is not cleared properly. Follow the colonoscopy preparation instructions carefully.
Contact Barrie Endoscopy or go to the nearest Emergency Room if you develop severe abdominal pain, fever and chills, or rectal bleeding of more than one-half cup.