How will I feel after a paediatric endoscopy?

Discover what you might feel like after you wake up from your endoscopy, and when you will get your results.

How will I feel after an endoscopy?

After you wake up and recover from your endoscopy, you will have a drink and something to eat. You should be able to go home soon afterwards, and most children can do everything they normally do, and go back to school, the day after their endoscopy. You shouldn’t feel unwell, but you may have some of the following: 

  • Feeling bloated and uncomfortable. This is because during the endoscopy, air is used to inflate your bowel so the cameras can get a good view, and sometimes air can be left inside. This will soon pass on its own and you may break wind more frequently than normal while it does
  • Cramps and wind-like pain which is caused by the stretching of the bowel during the procedure
  • A sore throat or find it uncomfortable to swallow for a little while after a gastroscopy
  • Feel a little clumsy or unsteady for a few hours after the endoscopy. You may also feel a bit grouchy for a while afterwards. These are common side effects from the general anaesthetic, and will pass. Make sure you take care, and remember to drink plenty of water

If you need to, you can take paracetamol every four to six hours to help with pain. You should never take ibuprofen when you have IBD. Your IBD team will give you advice if they think you need stronger pain relief.

When will I get the results from my endoscopy?

When you have recovered from your endoscopy, the consultant will speak to you and your family. 

They will tell you what they saw, describing the condition of your oesophagus (the part of your digestive system between your throat and your stomach, where food passes down after you swallow), stomach and duodenum (the first part of your small intestine after your stomach) from the gastroscopy. 

They will also describe what the lining of your large bowel (colon) and rectum looked like, and sometimes the lower end of the small bowel too, during the colonoscopy. They will tell you how much inflammation and ulceration there is, how bad it is, and where it is in your digestive system.


Diagnostic endoscopies

Sometimes the doctor will have seen enough to say whether it looks more likely that you have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. However, often it is not easy to tell from just looking, and they wait for the histology (when a pathologist looks at your biopsies under the microscope) before confirming your diagnosis.

When your histology returns, a member of the IBD team will call you to confirm your diagnosis. You will then be given an appointment to go to the hospital to meet with your IBD doctor. This is where you will learn more about your diagnosis, and your initial (induction) treatment.  

Sometimes your endoscopy may show that you have IBD, but it’s not possible to tell if it’s Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, even from histology results. You might then be diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease unclassified (IBDU - also called indeterminate colitis).

Monitoring endoscopies

Once your IBD team has looked at the results of your endoscopy, they will discuss with you and your family any changes that need to be made to your treatment, including any further tests or procedures you might need. You will be given lots of information about any new treatments you are going to start.

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