The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Lower Endoscopy / Colonoscopy

What is a Lower Endoscopy / Colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a camera test where the doctor looks at the lower part of your childs’ digestive system to help identify if there is a reason for your childs’ symptoms.  The procedure is performed under a general anaesthetic.  A thin flexible tube with a small camera and light at the end is passed up the large intestine (colon) from anus to the junction between the large and small intestine (ileum).

The doctor may take pictures using the camera for your childs’ notes.  Small samples of tissue from the different parts of the colon may also be take (biopsies) for specialists to look at using a microscope.  The purpose of the colonoscopy is to look for signs of inflammation, ulcers or changes found in certain conditions. The test takes 30 – 60 minutes and the results will usually take 4- 6 weeks.

Are there any risks?

A colonoscopy is a low risk procedure but with all medical investigations there is a small risk of complications.  These include your child having bloating and trapped wind  this is due to air being blown into the bowel to enable the doctor to get a good view, abdominal pain, sickness, small spots of blood in the stool  for up to 72 hours, infection risk is small, damage to the wall of the colon (approximately 1/1000).

Will I be followed up?

We would expect you to go home the same day once your child has had something to eat, drink and has passed urine.  The results will be discussed at the next clinic appointment or a letter would be sent out.

Should your child develop the following symptoms please seek medical advice as an emergency by attending your nearest A&E:

1)      Severe tummy pain or swollen tummy

2)      Becomes generally unwell e.g. a temperature

3)      Refuses to eat or drink

4)      Is unusually sleepy or refuses to wake up

5)      Significant bleeding from the bottom  with or without stool.