Colonoscopy- sedation or not?

Posted , 5 users are following.

I wanted to post about my colonoscopy experience I had today.

I found that I got a lot of advice from everyone who had written about theirs on this forum.

I have never enjoyed having a general anesthetic - being out of control; and the thought of having a sedation for pain worried me more than the procedure.

The nurse explained, that even with sedation, I would feel the pain but the sedation would erase it from my memory. 

This worried me- I wanted to awake enough to breath through the pain.

There was gas and air if I couldn't cope.

I managed to cope with the 3 bouts of pain- lasting only 20 seconds, with breathing as I used during labour.  The rest of the procure was fine and it was amazing to see my colon on the screen and being able to ask questions and helped the Dr to explain about where my problem was.


I was lucky ,  no cancer was found and the possible cause of my bleeding was proctitis.

Biopsies were taken and will get the results and treatment if any, in six weeks.

The worst thing was drinking the Moviprep- the first glass was not too bad...after that ,was a real struggle and the second litre, two hours later was so bad- I started shivering- It took me three hours to drink 750ml sipping through a straw and having a mouthful of plain water afterwards.  I couldn't manage the last glass, I would had brought it all back up. It was so salty and made me retch.

The first movement was two hours after the first glass- 

I didn't have any pain with these. 

Lastly I would say to people that is was much better than I thought it would be. Everyone at the hospital was very kind- and I wouldn't be afraid if I ever need another.....

Would I take the Moviprep again- no chance! 


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  • Posted

    hi i had one 2 weeks ago i think i had  biscodyl and prep c easy to swallow had full sedation for colonoscopy never felt anything 2 polyps removed  that were fine i agree with you dont be afraid of it hope you are better now john
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    • Posted

      Hi John

      It's good to know there are other options to clear our colon.

      We are fortunate that they have these procedures to put our minds at rest- or detect cancer early.

      You might have been in pain- but the drug erases the memory of it.

      For me- that was the scary part- messing with my brain !

      Feel ok today thanks.

      I wish you well too.


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  • Posted

    Hello Amanda,

    I had the fears about sedation but also remembered my first colonoscopy, which was hell, even with supposedly gas and air.

    I spoke to the nurses on the day telling them about my previous experience and my fear of sedation. I suggested I just had the intravenous pain killer to which they agreed.

    The next part amazed me. The consultant came to collect me, I was asked to lie myself down and get comfortable. When the procedure started he was so thoughtful and gentle. He gave me half the pain killer to start then when it did get really painful he gave me the other half and stopped briefly to allow effect. The procedure finished and I really couldn't believe it could be so different to the first but I remember being told your experiences rest to a large degree with the person holding the scope, mine really cared. I too had polyp removed, saw it but felt nothing.

    I would have this done again but would certainly use my own opinion of the person holding the scope. If they carry after you've said stop for a moment and they didn't I would withdraw my consent verbally and stop the procedure.

    i am not saying these procedures wouldn't be painful even with a wonderful doctor but their attitude I feel can make or break your experiences.

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    • Posted

      Sorry to hear you had an awful experience the first time, and it would have certainly out me off too. 

      The Dr was amazing...telling me when he had to out more air in; apologising when I was in pain...

      Telling me I was doing so well....

      The nurse letting me squeeze her hand and talking to me.....

      He also didn't talk down to me when I was making a decision on the sedation....

      One person  I read about was told, well -be it on your own head, and you must not move if in pain. 

      We all must make an informed decision as to what is best for us.

      Pleased all us well with you.


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  • Posted

    Just wanted to respond by saying how very thoughtful of you to share your experience on behalf of appreciation
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