Endoscopy NO Sedation

Posted , 36 users are following.

Hello, Had my first endoscopy a few days ago (I suffer from panic disorder) and was scared stiff of having it done the night before i was due to have it done i was thinking of not going.

As was going to have it with sedation but have read alot of horror stories on the internet about people gagging, being sick, pulling the endospope out, having to be pinned down So you can see way i was scared stiff.

But i found the courage to go to the hospital to have it done the nurse asked me if i wanted sedation i said no way so she said OK the dr will have a word with you.

The dr came in and asked me again about sedation and i said no so he said ok we will do it TRANSNASAL so no need to go through the mouth no need for sedation and I have to say it was a alright procedure a slight bit of dicomfit in the nasal passage (brought a tear to my eye) but i was able to breath properly and also talk no gagging and best of all NO sedation.

It took intotal 5 mins to have the endoscope done and a further 5-10mins in recovery and then home.

If you have one coming up phone and ask about having it done TRANSNASAL as it is a pleasent way of doing it.

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72 Replies

  • Posted

    I'll always avoid anaesthetics if at all possible. When I went for my endoscopy some years ago now I was given an illustrated leaflet explaining the procedure. I opted for staying fully awake and the procedure was again explained. The throat was sprayed with something that tasted vaguely of advocaat. Doctor said that was the worst bit but it didn't make me gag. Gum shield put in place and tube was fed in a little way and I was asked to swallow. It felt exactly like swallopwing a piece of dry bread and that was it I was able to turn over and have a guided tour of my stomach. Would definitely recommend this method though I must admit I'm not a gagger and can swallow quite large pills ok.

    Everone else had to stay and recover but after a quick once over I was allowed to drive myself 20 miles home. ( I had arranged alternative just in case.)

    Hope this is encouraging.

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  • Posted

    Well I have had 3 endoscopies performed, the first two were done without sedation and it was horrible to say the least, so for the third occasion I opted for sedation being that I was having a colonoscopy done too, and I can honestly say I didn't feel a thing, and the sedation takes all your fear away.

    I know it will be different for everyone but this is what happened to me for sure.

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  • Posted

    Hello All,

    I have have had 6 endoscopies, 4 with local anesthetic throat spray and the last two without as the anaesthetic made my throat feel like I could not swallow which was very scary.. I watched every one of them on the monitor..

    I have also had 1 Gastroscopy (Camera down to stomach) with anaesthetic into my vein and have to go for another one on Monday 6th where as yet I am undecided whether to be knocked out or to watch the screen and stay awake if thats possible as last time I had to lay on my side with a mouth guard in so watching the monitor would have been a bit difficult..

    An alternative if you are scared would be to ask your doctor for something fast acting to relax you 4 hours before the proceedure like Diazepam which has a half life of 200 hours once in the system .. Which means that 8 1/2 days after taking it it is still 1/2 the strength that you originally took in your system..

    P.S. Its also not a good idea if you drive as it can make you drowsy..

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  • Posted

    Everybody says "You shouldnt look on the internet" about symptons you have or procedures you are going to have.

    The reason they say this is because most people are stupid , cant put things into perspective and have the tendancy to exaggerate.

    So you need an endoscopy? You must be in extreme pain then? I was telling my stupid doctor for 4 years that I either had an ulcer or stomach cancer and that I wanted an endoscopy or barium meal, she just laughed. Oh well she knew best, until I was hospitalised.

    So make sure you need an endoscopy, dont just seek it unless like me youve spent 4 years rolling on the floor for an hour 5 times a day in intense agony that the GP doesnt give you pain relief for.

    Ok, you are definitely having an endoscopy now. Thats it, you are in. You are having it done , you will survive and this will help.

    Dont bother asking them any questions. The questions you want to ask, they will avoid and distract you. Everything happens very quickly.

    Throat spray or sedation?

    I had throat spray.

    Survival guidline.

    Consent form. You might as well tick "take all my dna and body tissue" -I ticked the box which stated "I do not want my samples to stored" - thought that was pretty clear yet she questioned me on it and in short of getting into a political argument about my property I just asked her "why bother with the consent form if youre just going to get pateints to change their tick boxes? I read and understood everything, which part are you having a problem with?"

    Tell the nurses you want to make their job as easy as possible for them and if there is anything you can do to help. Its nice, it will put them at ease and they might give you a few extra pumps of Lidocaine like they did me. Tastes like banana. Nice.

    All of a sudden your throat feels like its constricted, exactly like you have a golf ball stuck in your throat. DONT PANIC. You can breath. Your throat is numb and your brain has stopped receiving signals tricking your body into thinking you cant breathe. Breathe. Its normal.

    On a bed, lying down on your side. Forefinger in a pulse reader.

    Little green mouth piece with air hole - bite down ( youll notice in endoscopy pamphlets there is a warning about maybe losing crowns and fillings but it doesnt tell you how this might happen- given that I was biting down on this thing for my life I would say that whatever is about to happen to you for the next 10 minutes and you find yourself biting down just REMEMBER your teeth- your mouth is numb you could smash your teeth out with a hammer and you wouldnt feel it!

    Ok , here we go . Its just a little wire with a tiny camera on the end. Going to have a good look. No. Its not a tiny wire with a camera on the end. It should be a tiny wire with a camera on the end. Its 2013, we're into nano technology and space exploration. Its a pipe. So stop thinking kettle flex and start thinking hose pipe.

    I goes in, you do not feel a thing. No pain. But this is not a painful procedure anyway.

    They fill your stomach with air - didnt even feel it. No pain or unusal feeling.

    This lasts for 10 minutes while they look around and take photos.

    How you deal with these 10 minutes is up to you. I was convulsing and choking for most of the time but kept brave. The nurse kept telling me to breath but since I had a pipe down my thoat I found it a little difficult. I was calm and constantly giving them the thumbs up as I they seemed to freak out as I was choking and fighting for breath while at the same time trying to lie as still as possible. (stomach tearing is a rare complication , and this is probably when it happens so I was aware of this incase I survived) You do feel like you are dying and you could believe that the nurses are not aware that you are dying but you have to trust that they know what they are doing. But you do really feel like you are going to die from lack of oxygen. Its like drowning. Thats not an exaggeration, it is like drowning and knowing you are going to die.

    Now it turned out I had an ulcer and a hiatus hernia and the reason I was gagging and choking all the way through the latter part of the procedure was because of the hernia so it may not be as bad for you. However, I look at it like this. Youve got a hose pipe all the way down your throat.

    I'd have sedation next time. The reason being is that that is the option that the nurses try to steer you away from. Knowing what I know about doctors and nurses is that they want to make it easier for themselves during procedure. If you have sedation , they have to do a little bit more work, they have to monitor this and that and it takes longer and you're more of a dead weight to them. Im assuming sedation means you are completely out of it.I had loads of marijuana in the morning which took the edge off the horror. Also reading people experiences on other website leaves me feeling a little cheated. " Oh its nothing, you lie down, they put you under and you wake up ands its all done"....excuse me? As far as Im concerned, if youve been asleep the whole time at some magical surgery then your opinion is somewhat limited.

    Im pretty tough. I know pain. This is something else. Probably on a par with being waterboarded with no secrets left to tell. For those ten minutes just think of yourself as an empty vessell that needs examining and it will be over. The worse outcome is going through all this only to find nothing there. So make sure you definitly need an endoscopy, i.e. you have constant agonising pain.

    Remember, its a hosepipe. Not a wire.

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    • Posted

      I came across this accidently and having had on wednesday a nightmare endoscopy I have never laughed so much, my other 5 were performed at the local hospital by my 'dear friend' mr. Ahmed, and let me tell you if I thought them unpleasant to say the least I survived to face another one. But doctors differ and you know the rest, yesterday was horrendous, having been strangely so referred to a so called centre of excellence 3 hours away, to have two polyps removed that mr. Ahmed declared he could not do, and indeed his registrar confirmed in a prior appointment no need for concern, there is nothing sinister etc he just wishes them seen too. well what a story I got from the 'other' buck when I got there, there manner was off, I am almost sure that it was water and no sedative I received, choking, spluttering and unable to breathe! and the nurse was off no comfort whatsoever! It was not the consultant who done the procedure but his 'comis chef' and a two minute consultation informed me after that one small polyp was removed the larger one would be done in theatre at some point in case I bleed etc, and that there were rogue cells in my stomach, that information was never given to me by my regular consultant! So apart from feeling sick sore and tired, I am also aggrieved that I have been in some way duped! Haven't a clue what they are going to do with these 'rogue cells' if anything! I am seriousely considering leaving it to God, the thoughts of another one these assaults on my person makes me shiver! So John thank you for the laugh, because I was really and truly fed up today! Hosepipe it is lol........cheesygrin
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    • Posted

      Love your description.  Going for an endoscopy, terrified, and having already endured Kaiser's inability to sedate patients properly, I appreciate the earthy reporting.

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  • Posted

    Hi All,

    I would just like to add my 2 penneth. I had a Gastroscopy today and although it is not the most comfortable procedure I've had, it isn't as scary as most people think. To the previous post, I think your post is very descriptive but I will say this. If you have sedation you are not knocked out. It is not a General Aneasthetic.

    As I had mine without sedation. I was in and out of the hospital within 45 mins. And was able to eat about an hour afterwards. Although you must be careful and read the leaflet they give you. The reason you can't eat or drink straight away is that you could ingest food or drink into your lungs after the throat spray.

    Remember it is numb and you can't control the little flap at the back of your throat that blocks your wind pipe when you swallow until the spray has warn off. Yeah I gagged a couple of times but as long as you focus on your breathing nothing much else happens. The throat spray is similar to going to the dentist it wares off after a short time. A little advice though take plenty of tissues to wipe your mouth as you will be dreweling afterwards.

    I must admit I'm of the ilk that I won't have sedation unless it is absolutely necessary. I was in the waiting room watching people on their come down. Being Sick etc. My actual procedure lasted 6 minutes then I sat in the waiting area for 15 minutes, had a chat with a nurse and drove myself home.

    If you go for the sedation you are concious the whole time with added bonus that you will feel awful afterwards and have to have the next day off work etc as you are not allowed to drive for 24 hours. The choice is yours, however I do understand if you did go for it as I nearly decided to as I was as nervous as the people reading this forum.

    Good luck to anyone who is having one. And remember the staff at the hospital know what their doing and have done it thousands of times before. Have confidence in them.

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    • Posted

      Hi I had mine done without sedation but it depends where your boss lives. I am in the North East, England and went to North Tyneside General Hospital. If I had to go again it would be without sedation as was in and out in 6 mins. Was petrified but the doctor was fantastic and nurses too! Hope you get sorted, my doctor was Mr Woodcock! Can highly recommend him, good luck 😀

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    • Posted

      It was years ago so I no longer have doctor's name in my memory. It was at the Queen Elizabeth hospital King's Lynn. UK. Just had throat relaxant, no sedation. It was fine and interesting.

      Hope you soon get your boss sorted

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  • Posted

    I would like to add a slightly different approach to how I felt with my endoscopy with sedation as I had 2 endoscopies without sedation and the experience was not that good with gagging etc, so on my third visit I had sedation, and I can tell you that I didn't feel sick or anything afterwards.

    So sedation for endoscopy was good for me, ok I had to stay a little longer in the hospital till the drug wore off, but that wasn't too long and it was worth it for the easier experience.

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  • Posted

    I had a Gastroscopy today and have to agree with extreme it was horrendous!!!!!!!iwas gently persuaded to have just the spray,has that's what most people have, I can see now that has the waiting room filled up, being very busy for a Saturday, that it was quicker for people just to have the spray, especially has my appointment was for 8.55and I was not called in till 10.40. And there was only two people in front of me when I arrived and one was In a different clinic for colonoscopy.

    They also told me the camera was no thicker than a pen, A pen my a** it was just like a hosepipe as described earlier! I gagged and choked that much! my eyes were crying!I was belching like nobodies business!it really was horrible! I have had a colonoscopy last year and I would have these any day over what I had today.

    On top of it all I have dukedom it's, two small erosions (ulcers) some biopsies taken,and yet my Gastro enterologist a told me straight after my bowel surgery 3.5 months ago I had wind in my stomach !!!!I have really lost faith in hospitals especially as my first husband was told he had an ulcer at 41 years of age and was dead six months after with cancer of the pancreas, how's that for a good diIagnosis with an endoscope.

    Know what if I ever agree to have another it will defintley be sedation all the way, I will not go through

    That barbaric procedure again.Nurse told me after she was still nursing a very bad shoulder where a gentlemhad gagged that much, he pulled out the endoscope and jumped off the table and knocked the nurse over.

    Just shows how people re act to this procedure.. make sure you get sedation.

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  • Posted


    I am a doctor interested to know what the average person understands by the term 'sedation'. I would be very grateful to hear your views on this: What do you think it means? What do you want from 'sedation'? What do you want to be told about it? What should 'we' do if you appear to be unhappy during a procedure; stop, or give more sedation even if the latter might be risky?

    Thank you for your views.


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    • Posted

      Hi JP,

      Not sure if you still need info about 'sedation'. I had a gastroscopy today and was advised by my GP, who I trust implicitly, to have the sedation rather than throat spray. Sedation to me means being conscious but not fully able to function, a bit like having too much to drink.

      I was very nervous prior to the procedure, to the point of having a small panic as the canula was inserted. This is quite normal for me as I get panicky with blood tests now after years of being fine with them. I was informed of what the procedure entailed but was surprised when the headrest of the bed was lowered. I'd imagine I would be semi upright and I believe I would have coped better if I'd remained in that position. I felt vulnerable laying down.

      The sedation was administered and I tried to comply with the staff's requests to go with the medication. However, although I do not remember a gagging reflex, I did not like what was happening to me and must have started to struggle because the most senior medic had to manoeuvre the endoscope and not the nice young medic who was scheduled to do it. I do remember thinking STOP!!! but was unable to do anything to make the staff stop so I could gain my composure before they continued. It all appeared very rushed and if there had been a video taken I doubt I would be happy with what it showed!

      On returning to the recovery area, the nurse was lovely and I was more alert than I'd expected to be. She asked what I would like to drink and water was given. A cup of tea and biscuit followed but I was not happy to remain on the bed so I made my way to a highbacked chair. I became very tearful whilst on the bed and still felt vulnerable. I believe this may have been a side effect of the Diazepam. I'd been told I'd had the highest dose, presumably because of my panic on the table.

      I am a very nosey person and need to know what is happening to me, albeit in basic terms. However, I am a human being and not a piece of meat and am able to calm myself enough to be compliant if given time. Therefore, should I need another gastroscopy in the future, I will be more forceful in telling the staff how best to deal with any panic I may present with. Empathy and compassion would have calmed me far better than pressing on whilst I was not ready. I am not sure if more sedation was administered, but it would not have been necessary if they'd given me a minute to use a relaxation technique.   My discharge was approximately 20 minutes after returning to recovery and on arriving home I slept for about 30 minutes but have had a banging headache since waking.  

      Hope this may be helpful to you.



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    • Posted

      Hi James.

      I had my second endoscopy yesterday. In my notes it states I have PTSD and have great difficulty in putting my trust in total strangers. However as i have coeliac disease the proceedure needed to be done. On the first occasion although mentally distressing everything was fine so I attended yesterday with a small amount of confidence. The nursing staff were great. I had the canular fitted but my arm soon started to swell a little and on making staff aware i was told just to let my hand hang down all would be fine. I wasn't filled with confidence and asked twice more if the canular would be working properly and was assured it would. I was very distressed when I lay on the bed but managed to control myself. The doctor did not spray my throat but administered 1ml of diazepam. I told him the diazepam i had at home was of the same strength 5mg and it didn't cause me any drowsiness. The doctor said that was all i was getting. the experience was horrific with my retching and convulsing trying to let them know what discomfort i was in with no avail. On being taken back to the ward the first thing i said was that i had not been sedated. the nurse quite sharply said i had. Having had an endoscopy and a colonoscopy before i knew how i should feel but i was wide awake and angry. Despite their protests i left the ward and on asking my husband how i seemeded he replied wide awake. I feel the doctor should have checked my list of medications and should have listened to me. I feel he should have checked that i was fully sedated before p;roceeding. This has now left me too scared to ever have any sort of p;roceedure again. Not good.

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    • Posted

      According to my dictionary 'Sedative' means - to have a calming effect - to induce sleep in larger doses. No knowledge of what has happened would encourage more people to attend for vital tests without fear.Why is medicine still causing distress to people in the 21st century when it is possible to erradicate it quite easily and safely in many cases?
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