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Colonoscopy: Care at home

Translations available: Spanish

What is a colonoscopy?

During a colonoscopy (ko-lon-ah-sko-pee), the doctor uses a flexible tube with a light and a video camera to examine the inside of the colon (the large intestine). Pictures may be taken, and a biopsy (by-op-see) may be done: a pin-head sized piece of tissue is taken for study.

What can I expect after the colonoscopy?

  • small amount of blood in the stools (bowel movements)
  • soreness with bowel movements

How can I care for my child?

To help keep stools soft, encourage plenty of juices and other liquids. Adding fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and bran to the diet can also help to keep the stools soft.

Your child can return to school or day care the day after the colonoscopy.

When should I call the doctor?

  • if your child passes a tablespoon or more of blood in the stools
  • pain medicine does not help
  • fever higher than:
    • 101° F (38.4° C) by mouth
    • 100° F (37.8° C) under the arm

What else do I need to know?

If a biopsy was done, the doctor will call you with the results within 7 to 10 days. If you have not heard the results after 2 weeks, please call the doctor.


This sheet is not specific to your child, but provides general information. If you have any questions, please call the clinic.

Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Patient/Family Education
2525 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Last reviewed 8/2015 ©Copyright

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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