Information for patients
This leaflet can be made available in other formats including large print, CD and Braille and in languages other than English, upon request.
You have had a colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy with Entonox (the special gas you breathed during your examination, to ease the discomfort).
This leaflet tells you what to expect and who to contact if you have any questions or concerns when you go home.
How will I feel when I go home?
The effect of the Entonox may stay with you for 30 minutes so it is very important you follow the advice below.
For the first 30 minutes after having Entonox you:
- must not drive a car, ride a bicycle or motorcycle. It is an offence to drive while unfit to do so because of the effect of Entonox and it will probably invalidate your insurance policy.
- must not operate machinery or electrical appliances.
You can eat and drink as normal after your examination. As your bowel has been emptied it often takes 2 to 3 days for your bowel movements to return to normal.
You can take any medications (drugs) as normal, unless your endoscopist (a doctor or nurse trained to do colonoscopies and flexible sigmoidoscopies) has advised you not to.
You may suffer from some abdominal (tummy) discomfort due to the air put into your bowel during your examination. This may make you feel bloated and you may feel the need to pass wind.
This usually settles within 24 hours.
If you had any biopsies (small pieces of tissue) or polyps (small warty growths) removed, you may pass small traces of blood from your rectum (back passage) for up to 48 hours after your colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy.
You must contact the Endoscopy Unit or your GP during normal surgery hours. Outside surgery hours you should contact the GP Out of Hours Service (see contact numbers) immediately if:
- you have severe pain in your abdomen
- you develop a temperature higher than 38°C (100.4°F)
- you develop severe vomiting (being sick)
- any bleeding from your rectum increases or continues longer than 48 hours.
If you have an urgent problem the night after your colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy you can contact your local Accident and Emergency Department (see contact numbers).
When will I be told the results of my colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy examination?
You will have been told the results of your colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy before you left the unit. If you had any biopsies taken and sent to the laboratory for examination, the results of these tests can take up to 6 weeks.
If needed, you may be sent an outpatient appointment, through the post, to discuss the results of your colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy in more detail. A copy of your biopsy results will also be sent to your GP. Please note the Endoscopy Unit do not receive a copy of your biopsy results.
If you need further advice or have any problems, please contact the appropriate number below:
University Hospital of North Tees
Telephone: 01642 624387
Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 7.00pm
Accident and Emergency Department
Telephone: 01642 382899
24 hours a day, 7 days a week
University Hospital of Hartlepool
Rutherford Morison Unit
Telephone: 01429 522356
Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 6.30pm
If you have any worries or concerns you should contact your GP during normal surgery hours. Outside surgery hours you should contact your GP’s surgery for the Out of Hours Service number.
Further information is available from:
Telephone: 111 (when it is less urgent than 999)
Calls to this number are free from a landline and mobile phones
via the website at:NHS website
Comments, concerns, compliments or complaints
Patient Experience Team (PET)
We are continually trying to improve the services we provide. We want to know what we’re doing well or if there’s anything which we can improve, that’s why the Patient Experience Team (PET) is here to help. Our Patient Experience Team is here to try to resolve your concerns as quickly as possible. The office is based on the ground floor at the University Hospital of North Tees if you wish to discuss concerns in person. If you would like to contact or request a copy of our PET leaflet, please contact:
Telephone: 01642 624719
Freephone: 0800 092 0084
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 4:00pm
Email: [email protected]
Out of hours
Out of hours if you wish to speak to a senior member of Trust staff, please contact the hospital switchboard who will bleep the appropriate person.
Telephone: 01642 617617
Data protection and use of patient information
The Trust has developed Data Protection policies in accordance with Data Protection Legislation (UK General Data Protection Regulations and Data Protection Act 2018) and the Freedom of Information Act 2000. All of our staff respect these policies and confidentiality is adhered to at all times. If you require further information on how we process your information please see our Privacy Notices.
Telephone: 01642 383551
Email: [email protected]Privacy Notices
This leaflet has been produced in partnership with patients and carers. All patient leaflets are regularly reviewed, and any suggestions you have as to how it may be improved are extremely valuable. Please write to the Clinical Governance team, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospital of North Tees, TS19 8PE or:
Email: [email protected]
Leaflet reference: PIL1440
Date for Review: August 2026