4 Year Old and Colonoscopy

Updated on December 22, 2010
S.C. asks from Wayne, NJ
8 answers

My son is 4 and he has had blood in his stool on and off all year. We did a few blood tests and then a number of different stool tests and everything is normal. The doctor told me to give him Mirilax every morning to soften his stool, thinking it is probably an internal hemmeroid or fissure. It is still happening on occasion. He suggested a colonoscopy. I hate to do that if I don't have to because the prep is tough for adults, nevermind kids. On the day before you are supposed to eat jello, broth, water and clear stuff-none of which he likes.

I'm wondering if there are any other tests that can be done (someone told me a proctoscopy is less stressful) or if anyone has had their child go through this. Thanks

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answers from Washington DC on

Has he been tested for food allergies? Is it possible that something he is eating/drinking is causing it since its been on/off?

I would do the colonoscopy as a last resort with a pediatric gastro, and get lots of references!

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answers from Cleveland on

I haven't had a child go through a colonoscopy but I have gone through one myself and I have to say that I would only use it as a last resort. Talk to the doctor about alternative and less invasive tests. A colonoscopy is often billed as an outpatients surgery because it is invasive and your child will have to be put under general anesthesia so they are not awake for the procedure (I woke up during mine and OMG it was awful). I would think that your doctor is probably correct in the internal hemorrhoid or fissure if the blood in your sons stool is red because that means the bleeding happened during pooping and not further up in the tract or stomach. A bleed further up or in the stomach will lead to black stool because the blood is "old" blood. I would probably stick to the Mirilax right now and just watch your son for other signs of problems.

Oh, and this is totally TMI but if it helps your son I'll put it out there. I have IBS and occasionally get blood in my stools. It happens even when the stool is soft. I have been through a TON of testing and nothing was found to be wrong. Just the annoying IBS.

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answers from New York on

I have had 3 colonoscopies in my lifetime. The first one was when I was 12, and I just wanted to reassure you that theyre not so bad. The prep is the worst part, but even that isnt so horrible. Yeah you poop... a lot. But the laxatives pretty much liquify the bowel, so there is no pain, just slight cramping. The fasting deal is not that bad either because when you guzzle down laxatives all day, the least thing you want is a hefty meal. The colonoscpy in itself is a breeze, because you are zomped out and dont remember anything. I just remember being put to sleep and waking up in recovery room with everyone fussing over me. I was like.. whats the big deal?> It just felt like I was waking up from a nap. I felt no pain afterwards and everyone was really nice to me and offered me things like ice cream and stuffed animals. It was actually nice because I felt so important :). If you childs doctor recommends it, I would go for it. Other less invasive tests (such as a sigmoidoscopy) wont be able to view everything and could easily miss something that the colonscopy would be able to pick up. Like I said, the whole test, prep thing really isnt so horrible. If you have any concerns, call the Dr, but Im sure your son will be just fine. I had a colonoscopy at 12, 16 and 19. Honestly, the experiences werent so bad.

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answers from Atlanta on

Did his doctor actually perform an exam to see if your child has a fissure or hemorrhoid up in his rectum? I know that sounds awful, but it's not nearly as invasive as a colonoscopy. If that's been done, then I would go ahead and do it. Better to be safe than sorry!

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answers from Dallas on

A proctoscope will be just as stressful, and it not able to check as far up the colon as a colonoscopy. So, that being said if the MD really thinks it is necessary, I would do the most complete test available.


answers from Tampa on

if it's noticeable red blood - then that could be something in the entire large colon... which is why they may want to do the colonoscopy. I'm sure they could do a digital (finger) rectal exam first, but your little one would be awake for that and may feel scared, pain or violated.

Maybe go to another Pediatrician for a 2nd opinion?



answers from Salt Lake City on

Just make sure that whoever performs the procedure is used to working with kids! His body is much smaller than an adults (as you know), and it should be a pediatric specialist who does this. Will it be through a childrens' hospital? (That's generally the best)



answers from Charlotte on

S., talk to your doctor about what kind of anesthesia they would use on him. My colonoscopy last month was done with twilight sleep, not a general anesthesia.

Make sure it's a pediatric gastro specialist who does these procedures.

So sorry you are all going through this.

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