Aftercare Advice: Computed Tomography (CT) Colonoscopy

Patient Experience

  • Reference Number: HEY692-2024
  • Departments: Radiology
  • Last Updated: 1 January 2024


This leaflet will provide you with general information and advice about the CT Colonoscopy that you have just undergone.  It should answer most of your questions but if after reading it you have any concerns or require further explanation, please discuss this with a member of the healthcare team caring for you.

What is a CT Colonoscopy?

CT Colonoscopy is a test that uses a CT scanner to produce detailed pictures of your large bowel – the colon and rectum. CT Colonoscopy differs from a routine CT of the abdomen as the large bowel is inflated with carbon dioxide during the CT. This is done by placing a small tube into your bottom during the scan. This allows us to get detailed views of the lining of the bowel on the CT.

What to expect after your CT Colonoscopy

At the end of your examination you will be able to get dressed and leave the hospital.

Please return to your normal eating and drinking patterns.

We recommend you drink plenty of fluids for the following 2-3 days.

The carbon dioxide used to inflate your bowel will be absorbed quite quickly following the procedure; however some minor abdominal discomfort may remain for 1-2 hours. Returning to your normal diet and moving around will help to ease any remaining discomfort. Pain relief medication may be taken, if required.

Please seek urgent medical advice via your GP if you experience any of the following symptoms over the next four days:

  1. Severe abdominal pain.
  2. Increasingly painful abdominal discomfort.
  3. Sweating and nausea.
  4. Feeling generally unwell.

During your examination you may have been given an injection of a drug called Buscopan, used to relax the muscles in the bowel wall. Blurring of vision can be a side-effect of this injection, although this is usually for a short period of time (about 30 minutes). If you do experience this, please make sure your vision has returned to normal before driving.

In very rare cases, this injection can cause an eye problem called glaucoma.

Please seek medical advice if you develop painful blurred vision within 48 hours of this test.

How do I find out the results of my scan?

The doctor that asked us to perform your test will receive your results, which is usually within seven days. The hospital will contact you with a follow up out patient appointment. If after three weeks they have not contacted you, please contact the hospital on (01482) 875875 and ask to be connected to your referring consultant’s secretary.

Please ask the Radiographer who scanned you to explain if you are unsure of how to get the result of your scan.

Who do I contact if I have concerns?

Should you require further advice on the issues contained in this leaflet, please do not hesitate to contact the CT Department on telephone number: (01482) 622043.

Should you have any pain and/or discomfort that has been discussed in this leaflet please seek medical advice from your GP.

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