Flexible Sigmoidoscopy appointment

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I read a few stories on this forum saying that the procedure is excruciatingly painful. I have rung the nurses a few times.. They know I'm worried & very anxious.. I have opted for the the sedation,, but unless you are knocked out, I think I will still feel it all. I really don't want to go after reading & fearing the worst pain/discomfort... Eg when they put the air inside.

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  • Posted

    Hi Julie . I too read horror stories about having it done but I have had 2 now without sedation and was fine . The first one was slightly uncomfortable when it went round a bend for literally 2 seconds and the second time I didn't feel a thing . A tip I was given by the nurse who administered my enema was to take deep breaths which helped A lot . Try not to worry too much I know it's easier said than done . hope all goes well

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    • Posted

      Dear Michelle,

      Thankyou for your kind words.

      It's the few horror stories, especially from one lady that is scaring me.

      She wrote, the nurses were horrible to her & was made to feel a nuisance patient. They rough handled her, the male nurse that did the procedure ended up forcing the scope round the bend, so she had a colonoscopy aswell as a sigmoidoscopy.

      She said they'd have to drag me kicking n a screaming next time.

      That horror story procedure has stuck in my mind now.

      You are braver than me you got through it.

      Take care, I wish you well.

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  • Posted

    Hi Julie, 

    I know you posted this a while ago so I don't know if you've had the procedure already, but if you haven't, I have to tell you that I had mine earlier today and it was COMPLETELY 100% fine. I didn't feel pain for one second (no sedation / painkillers etc) and I barely felt any discomfort if I'm honest. It took about 5 minutes, and I'm not joking when I say that if I was really tired, I could have fallen asleep if I wanted to.

    I felt like I needed to post this as I'd been looking at the forums in the run-up to my sigmoidoscopy and most of the comments gave me severe anxiety. I think those people are pretty pathetic, sorry, but all they're doing is scaring people into cancelling or delaying a procedure that could potentially provide an important diagnosis. The procedure is nothing, believe me, it's not enjoyable but it's 0.5% of the hype it's built up to be online. 

    Take care and all the best!

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    • Posted

      I'd like to add some balance to this comment.  I'm glad lana10110 had a pain free experience, and a lot of people do.  But for those people who turn out to have a specific medical condition, or whose internal structure is not quite straightforward, it can be a different story.  And there is no way of knowing in advance for the first time. 

      It was discovered I had 2 medical conditions which caused discomfort - severe Diverticular Disease, with a diverticulum on a bend of the bowel, plus an abnormally long, narrow and twisted bowel.  Also a lot depends on the skill of the person doing the procedure.  Unfortunately some are far more rushed and rough than others, particularly if they are behind schedule. 

      I was lucky as I had a good endoscopist who identified both problems quickly and did not procede with the examinations.  He told me he did not want to risk rupturing the diverticulum, and that my internal workings would have made it impossible to pass even the smallest scope the whole of the way anyway.  Normally my pain tolerance is high - I was born with a back condition and have lived with chronic pain all my life.  Also I have fractured bones in the foot, ankle and knee on various occasions and still walked to the hospital.  So I do not consider myself pathetic.  I was sedated, but still heard myself whimpering in pain during the first attempt.  And like many others, was left in pain for a couple of days afterwards. 

      So it is just the luck of the draw, as everyone is different.  Nobody should be put off having the examination, as it can be lifesaving, but if it proves to painful for one reason or another, there are alternatives, like a CT scan.  Hopefully one day soon it will be standard practice to swallow a camera and retrieve it at the other end - a much less barbaric method.

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