About Colonoscopies

Most adults have had a colonoscopy at some point, yet we often don’t associate this procedure with children. However, in the same way it is used in adults to check the health of the digestive system, it is also used regularly in diagnosing children with gastrointestinal symptoms. If your child suffers from persistent stomach pain, diarrhoea, blood in the stool, persistent iron deficiency, or poor weight gain, a colonoscopy may be required to investigate the cause.

What’s involved?

This procedure will require evacuation of the contents of the colon via a “bowel prep” to ensure clear visibility. If your child is under six years of age, they may be required to complete the prep in hospital prior to their procedure. A small flexible scope is used to examine the colon via the anus, usually assisted by gently pushing air into the bowel. The procedure requires a general anaesthetic but is a short procedure that generally takes less than 1 hour. Prior to your child’s colonoscopy, Dr McIntyre will take you through the procedure and answer any questions you might have including diet modifications and expected outcomes.


What to expect afterwards

Generally children will be well enough to go home after their procedure once they have been observed for a couple of hours and had something to eat or drink. It is possible they may complain of wind pain for a day or so which can be treated with paracetamol. Dr McIntyre will discuss the results with you and any follow up requirements. As with any medical procedure, if your child has a fever, passes large amount of blood in the stool, or appears seriously unwell afterwards, contact your doctor or go to the nearest hospital.


Promoting good health in our children

“Working closely with children and their families, it's immensely satisfying to be able to make a difference to their lives by managing their medical conditions with care and compassion.”

Dr Emma McIntyre