endoscopy not what I expected

Posted , 9 users are following.

I wanted to reply to an earlier post on the experience of uppergastro endoscopy but couldn't.  I hate to add to the negative experiences but I was really shocked by what a barbaric procedure this is.

Doc and nurse where I had the procedure were very kind and empathetic. Having imagined a very thin wire with a tiny camera the sized of a pea being reasonably smoothly guided down my anesthatized throat I was shocked at the reality of what transpired.  As was mentioned in a previous discussion it's more like a hosepipe than a wire and it felt like someone was trying to shove an iron cage down my throat.

They anesthetized my throat and gave me a sedative which I requested.  I have been very panicky before at the thought of dental treatment but actually was fairly calm today before it as I didn't expect more than mild discomfort and would describe my fear feelings as no more than mild apprehension.  That changed fairly fast once they got started!

I didn't feel like I couldn't breathe.  But I most definitely could not swallow and was gagging like crazy.  They kept saying almost there just swallow and although I tried I couldn't...literally physically couldn't as the camera stuck in my throat.  It felt like a full on physical assault on my body. I don't blame the doctor or nurse they did everything they could to be kind but in the end they are trying to shove a lump of metal with a hose attached down your throat.  I could not swallow it and the idea they would just shove it down anyway is horrendous and barbaric.  

I started to cry...tears just started flowing....it is a very primitve reaction.  The nurse and doctor were distressed too by my state so they stopped and gave me a break and said let's try again in a minute.   I cooperated as I didn't want to 'give up' so soon.  But second time just as bad and the doctor in her compassion stopped the procedure and said lets try some other methods to test for heliobacter, GERD and causes of my reflux/mild pains first.

Thank god for her compassion and humanity because I can't imagine what would have happened if they forced the thing into me.    This was like a form of torture.  I will have to be seriously seriously at high risk of cancer before I would ever agree to such a procedure again and only then under general anasthetic.  

Doctor told me in advance that some people have very little problem and others have a very hard time.  She said it would not be pleasant but still unpleasant is a big understatement to the pain and trauma I felt in my throat and still do after it although it is wearing off and I'm sure will be fine in a day or so.

I realise this is not what people want to read when they are searching for knowledge and comfort about this procedure but surely such a potentially (as it is for many although not all) traumatic and invasive procedure should only be a last resort and under GA....not a routine diagnostic test for heartburn or digestive discomfort.  

The doctor then ordered a series of blood tests for me to check for heliobacter and whatever else I might have.   

If I had only known I would have insisted on other ways to check first.  

Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings but this is the reality of my experience today and not a word of exaggeration.   I would much rather say it was a breeze but it isn't and it's unfair to mislead people as to the extent of what's involved.

Only silver lining to the cloud would be I will never again fear the dentist so much as it's a walk in the park compared to endoscopy in my experience!

I have very strong gag reflex so I know it's part of the problem. But still shoving something down someone's throat isn't the same as shoving something up either of the orifices at the other end and requires a great deal of sensitivity and preparation for the emotional reaction of the patient.  Not holding them down like animals as I read about in another discussion.  

Even when I take my dog to the vet I'm allowed to hold him (well must hold him) but I'm a human being and any procedure that requires I need to be held down for I'd rather be out cold for thank you very much!

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  • Posted

    So sorry, you had a bad experience. 

    I had it done last week, just the throat spray and I gagged, swallowing, you could feel it but once in, it was ok, didn't gag anymore.  Little bit of pressure in certain places.  The gagging brought tears to my eyes as it would do normally.  But the short time it takes is worth it to find out what is causing the problems.

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    • Posted

      yes, I think I was so shocked by my tears and the strong reaction I couldn't tolerate any more.  At least not that session. I also have lot of muscle tension and neck pain plus quite a long neck if that makes any difference! The doctor kept saying please don't cry and almost there but she saw my distress and said let's try something else....which I appreciated her humane response in that moment.

      from reading others' experiences it seems most people don't much like it but they can tolerate it and of course it's a reliable way to diagnose problems...but not the only way as my doctor said....I still have problems with my stomach and not sure yet what is the issue...we will find out somehow but I think the only way I will ever tolerate another endoscopy is if I'm out cold smile  and I would do that if the doctor insisted but even if diagnosis takes longer by more traditional methods  I'm happier with that.

      Thanks for your sympathy. Much appreciated.  I feel ok about it all now and especially how it was handled with sympathy by the medical staff.  It makes all the difference if you are as sensitive as I am.  

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  • Posted

    I had mine yesterday and opted for just the spray. I will NEVER have that done again without sedation. Left feeling traumatised, bruised and battered by constant retching, Having multiple flashbacks to the point where I had to sedate myself to sleep once home. I've had colonoscopies, colposcopies, sigmoidoscopies, and nasal endoscopies, all without anaesthetic, I would have ten of each at the same time rather than have a gastroscopy without sedation if I have to have it again. They found inflamation and a polyp, which they took a biopsy of, just wait and see what the results say now.

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