Aftercare Advice: Computed Tomography (CT) Colonoscopy

  • Reference Number: HEY-692/2015
  • Departments: Radiology


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.

General Advice and Consent

Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet, but remember that this is only a starting point for discussion with the healthcare team.

Consent to treatment

Before any doctor, nurse or therapist examines or treats you, they must seek your consent or permission. In order to make a decision, you need to have information from health professionals about the treatment or investigation which is being offered to you. You should always ask them more questions if you do not understand or if you want more information.

The information you receive should be about your condition, the alternatives available to you, and whether it carries risks as well as the benefits. What is important is that your consent is genuine or valid. That means:

  • you must be able to give your consent
  • you must be given enough information to enable you to make a decision
  • you must be acting under your own free will and not under the strong influence of another person

During the course of your procedure the radiology staff will ask questions that may appear unnecessary to you and these may be repeated at certain intervals. Please be assured that these questions are necessary to ensure that all aspects of your care during the procedure are maintained to a high standard.

Information about you

We collect and use your information to provide you with care and treatment. As part of your care, information about you will be shared between members of a healthcare team, some of whom you may not meet. Your information may also be used to help train staff, to check the quality of our care, to manage and plan the health service, and to help with research. Wherever possible we use anonymous data.

We may pass on relevant information to other health organisations that provide you with care. All information is treated as strictly confidential and is not given to anyone who does not need it. If you have any concerns please ask your doctor, or the person caring for you.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you or your carer needs information about your health and wellbeing and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.