After a gastroscopy or colonoscopy

This page from Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) describes how to look after your child at home after a gastroscopy or colonoscopy and how to deal with any problems that might occur.After a general anaesthetic, your child may feel drowsy, light headed or dizzy, and sick or be sick (nausea and vomiting). They may also have itchy skin, a sore throat and bloating.

  • You should encourage your child to drink but do not force them to do so. As long as your child is drinking, it does not matter if they do not feel like eating for the first couple of days.
  • Your child may be tired and a little clumsy for 24 hours after the anaesthetic, so do not let him or her do anything that might lead to a fall. You should keep your child away from school or nursery for one day until they have recovered from the anaesthetic.
The gastroscopy and colonoscopy tests can also cause minor symptoms afterwards:

  • Tummy pain due to the air used to inflate the digestive system
  • Blood spots either brought up or passed from their bottom – this happens if biopsies (small samples of tissue) were taken from the bowel wall.
However, please seek medical advice if your child:

  • Has tummy pain or bloating that is unusual for them or worse than usual
  • They vomit or pass large amounts of bright red blood
  • They become generally unwell, refusing to eat or drink or very sleepy

Getting back to normal

Unless you have been advised otherwise

  • Your child can start eating and drinking their usual diet
  • They can re-start any medications that were stopped for the test

Getting the test results

The results of the test will usually be reviewed and available with 10 working days. If you do not have a clinic appointment arranged with the consultant who referred your child for the test, please arrange one. Their number to call will be on the bottom of your last appointment letter.

Compiled by:
The Gastroenterology Investigation Suite in collaboration with the Child and Family Information Group
Last review date:
March 2018