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Victoria, Chiropractor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 590
Experience:  25 years overall experience in health care from hospital-based intensive care to private practice
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Bowel movement after colonoscopy

Resolved Question:

After a colonoscopy how long before a bowl movement. Regular diet?

Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Victoria replied 9 years ago.

It varies from person to person, but it is normal for you bowels to be "sluggish" following a colonoscopy and may be weeks before you recover to what was "normal" for you pre-procedure. For example, my brother perceived being back to normal within less than 2 weeks while it took me 3 months before I felt normal again. I even had one patient that complained a year later that she still did not feel "quite right".

You can begin a regular diet right away post an uncomplicated colonoscopy. It is best to make sure you drink plenty of fluids and eat non-constipating type foods until peristalsis or the colon contractions that move the stool out of the body is better re-established. Exercise or taking a walk an hour or so after eating is helpful in this regard. Eating small meals is also useful.

Hopefully this information is helpful to you. Follow up questions are welcome.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.

I had colonoscopy on 5/22/08. Been eating regular since 5/22. Still no bowel movement. I am bloated.
During procedure a flat polyp was removed.should i contact my doctor? (it is sunday)

Expert:  Victoria replied 9 years ago.

Try eating some stewed prunes first, drink lots of water and go for a walk. You are very constipated and that can be very uncomfortable, but it is just a matter of getting your bowls "jump started". Try massaging or have someone else massage your abdomen to see if you can stimulate the bowel. It is really best that you not resort to laxatives if you can help it. Definitely avoid eating cheese, all but small amounts of meat and fried or greasy foods or cakes, breads & crackers. Good sources of fiber to help things get started besides prunes are blackberries and strawberries. Minimize eating apples and bananas as that tend to be constipating. Going for a brisk walk even though you do not feel that good may help stimulate the bowel.

If you are unable to get your bowel going a little bit doing the things I recommended in the next 24 hours, then you may want to ask your doctor about a laxative. If your condition changes for the worse it is better to contact your doctor than to worry. If bleeding develops, definitely contact your doctor.

Hopefully some of these suggestions will work for you. I too did not go to the bathroom for several days post colonoscopy and was constipated for a long time though I knew the proper things to do. Hang in there.

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