Air Pocket After a Colonoscopy

A colonoscopy is a lower gastrointestinal test used to examine the lining of the colon and rectum for abnormalities such as colon polyps, inflammation, ulceration, bleeding and colon tumors. A colonoscopy also helps diagnose the causes of unexplained weight loss, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain and sudden changes in bowel habits. According to, it is normal to experience bloating and gas pains after colonoscopy due to excess air pockets in the colon.

A young woman is experiencing stomach pains. (Image: JackF/iStock/Getty Images)

Causes of Air Pockets After Colonoscopy

The University of Michigan Health System states that during colonoscopy, carbon dioxide gas is pumped into the colon in order to inflate it and allow a clearer view of the lining of the colon. The gas pumped into the colon forms air pockets that causes bloating, abdominal cramping and gas pains. Patients experience abdominal discomfort from excess air in the colon as they recover.

Treatment of Air Pockets

According to the University of Michigan Health System, patients experiencing discomfort caused by excess air in the colon are encouraged to pass gas through the rectum so as to relieve the discomfort. Patients should try and walk while accompanied by an adult so as to encourage flatulence. Patients may also take over-the-counter products containing simethicone so as to remove air in the colon.


According to, simethicone is an anti-flatulence medication that is available in over-the-counter products such as Phazyme and Gas-X. Simethicone is used to relieve abdominal pain and pressure caused by excess air pockets in the stomach and colon. Simethicone works by allowing gas bubbles in the stomach and colon to come together, which allows for easier passage of the air through belching or flatulence.

Simethicone Admnistration states that simethicone is available as regular tablets, capsules, chewable tablets and in liquid form. Simethicone is taken by mouth preferably after meals and at bedtime. Simethicone tablets and capsules should be swallowed whole with a full glass of water. Simethicone chewable tablets should be chewed well before swallowing.

Simethicone Contraindications

According to, simethicone should be avoided by patients allergic to simethicone. Patients should allergic to simethicone should be careful while choosing an over-the-counter anti-flatulence drug because most OTC anti-gas products contain simethicone.

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