After your child has had a rectal biopsy

This page from Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) explains how your child might feel after a rectal biopsy and how you can best care for them.

My child is complaining of pain. What can I do?

It is quite normal for your child to feel some discomfort for the first 48 hours after a rectal biopsy. Usually paracetamol will be enough to relieve any pain but if your child needs stronger medication, we will give you some before you go home.

If, when you get home, you feel that your child needs more powerful pain relief, you should call your family doctor (GP).

Keep the discharge letter from GOSH by the telephone in case your family doctor needs some details about the rectal. You can also telephone the ward for over-the-telephone advice.

Always follow the instructions on the pain relief bottle or packet and never give your child more than the recommended dose.

Is there anything else I can do to make my child feel better?

As well as giving pain relief medicines, distracting your child by playing games, watching TV or reading together can also help to keep your child’s mind off the pain.

My child does not want to eat. Should I be worried?

After the anaesthetic, your child may feel sick for 24 hours. You should encourage your child to drink but do not force them to do so. As long as your child is drinking, please do not worry too much if they have a reduced appetite for the next couple of days.

Are there any activities my child should avoid?

Your child may be tired and a little clumsy for 24 hours after the anaesthetic, so do not let them do anything that might lead to a fall. You should keep your child away from school or nursery for two days until they have recovered from the anaesthetic. Your team will let you know if your child is likely to need longer to recover.

When should I contact the hospital or my family doctor (GP)?

  • If your child is in a lot of pain and pain relief medicine does not seem to help
  • If your child is not drinking any fluids after the first day back home
  • If there is a heavy discharge or bleeding from your child’s rectum after the first 24 hours
We will call you at home to check that your child is making a good recovery. Before you leave the ward, please tell the nurse when would be the best time to call you.

Compiled by:
Chameleon Ward in collaboration with the Child and Family Information Group
Last review date:
September 2019