I had an Endoscopy today without sedative

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I went to my local hospital in Luton today to have an Endoscopy.

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Here goes !

There was some serious delays to my procedure.

 The receptionist said that ward entries take priority!

 Eventually i was seen, the nurse was fantastic, and very apologetic.  The lovely nurse went through my forms and asked me if i would like a sedative, i was a bit undecisive as i walked past all of the beds that contained the sedative patients before the procedure and they looked at ease

I decided to not to be sedated as i did not want to be out of control.

I went into the theatre room where i was greeted with 4 persons, a bit daunting i was thinking.  To be honest it was a bit scary, but within a few minutes i was put at ease by the staff.

I was given the spray which tasted of sour bananas, i asked for twice the spray in my mouth, as i did not want to feel anything...... to be honest in hindsight i think one lot of spray is enough, as with two you cannot feel yourself swallowing it is not a nice feeling.

The Endoscope is quite a bit bigger than i thought , so was very nervous when i saw that (it was a bit like looking at a huge needle before it goes in your arm).

I was told of all of the steps that would happen, then told to lay on my left side.  One of the staff put the mouth guard in place, i did not like that at all, i immediately took it out! (I am an Asthmatic so panic when things are put in my mouth)

 The nurse reassured me and so the procedure began.  I learnt very quickly to breath through my mouth, just drop your jaw and relax, it is quite an unpleasant feeling and you gag and belch a lot, quite embarrassing really, the support nurses were very good and was reasurred all of the way,  I did dribble and make a mess on my gown and towel, but they took it all in their stride, I did not like the air in my stomach being put in, very uncomfortable.

 I am glad that I did not have the sedative as i was able to see my stomach on the monitor.  I think as procedures go it was OK, by all means not pleasant, but tolerable.

I would assure anyone who is going for the treatment that it is over in approx 5 minutes, it is not pleasant, but equally not  too scary.

If i can do it ..... believe me anyone can!


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  • Posted

    Hello slapwagg,

    Endoscope was the first camera put inside.  I felt no pain or discomfort.  Rather facinating I thought.  You can feel it going down your gut and in stomach.  I didn't have any bad reactions.  Just keep reminding yourself what it is for and why are they doing it.

    Colonoscopy is camera up the bum and that caused no pain.  They use a gell to help it slide in and you can watch on a screen.  That too was facinating, especially when they have to push to get through.  Reminded me of my son kicking when I carried him.  Still no pain and no sedative. 



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    • Posted

      Hi Daffs

      I am so glad that you can put everyones mind at ease at this procedure, it sounds so bad and everyone has such bad expectations, as you and me know it is tolerable, not pleasant , but can be tolerated.  To be honest I hate needles, so was somewhat worried about being sedated, .... My friend who has a Endoscopy every three months told me "you must be sedated as its horrific,, i pull it out all of the time",,, Now i think its becasuse she is sedated, she has no control and of panic.  As i said before it is quite undegnified as i did make such a belching sound and gagged alot.  Cannot critisize the nursing staff at all,,,they deserve such a huge pay rise, they are superb. 

      Bless you for giving the time for your reply 

      all the best 


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    • Posted

      Hi, I think it's you who are putting everyones' mind at rest, just by your post.  I'm sure lots of people think the worst.  I'm scared of needles too.  Look the other way and grit my teeth.  I've had them so bad, they make my arm numb. It's the young nurses I think, who don't realize you don't have to go that far down to get the vain.  Grab an older, more experienced nurse tro do it you can and you won't feel a thing.

      Take care


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  • Posted

    Endoscopy and Colonoscopy without Sedation

    Today I have had an Endoscopy and Colonoscopy with no sedation. I was very nervous about the procedure and I am sure other people will feel the same so I will share my experience.

    Bowel preparation. Klean-Prep

    This was not nice but not terrible, mine tasted of vanilla with salt and I had to drink four litres over 6 hours. My only difficulty was forcing it down but a mouthful of water as soon as the glass was finished made it bearable. Now, the business end. In less than an hour it started working.  I had no desperate rush to go but definitely knew it was time to get in the loo. For me I had a movement approximately the same time apart as the time between taking it. So. I drank my litre spaced over 15 minute intervals, after about an hour I needed to go approximately every 15 mins. The actual going was strange but not unpleasant and for me by the second litre all I passed was clear water. It was so simple I found it was about as quick as having a wee and no more distressing. By litre 4 my backside was getting a little sore but good old Vaseline saved the day there. Unpleasantness scale 1 out of ten.


    i was taken into the room with 4 staff. I was given the throat spray that tasted horrible. Instantly I could feel nothing in my throat but had a sensation of something was stuck. After a few deep breaths I soon realised that I could breathe and all was normal. The mouth guard was put in and the staff explained every step.The endoscope was put in up to the back of my tongue and I was asked to swallow. I gagged a couple of times but that soon settled. Breathing is key here, in through the nose count 123 and out through the mouth count 123. I could feel the endoscope but there was no pain. Air was pumped in and that was uncomfortable but not painful 4 minutes later the endoscope was removed and I gagged a few times again. No pain at all but unpleasant. Remember that as the stomach was empty I could not actually be sick and as soon as the endoscope was removed I felt fine. Unpleasantness scale 5 out of ten. Pain 1 out of ten


    After the endoscopy the table turned round ready for the other end. I was asked to lay on my left side and the gown lifted exposing my bare backside. Yep it was embarrassing but the staff were so professional and quickly put me at ease. The procedure was explained and I was given a gas and air (Entonox) to use if I needed. Then in the colonoscopy went in. Strange sensation but did not hurt. As the scope went in it has to negotiate some bends and it at these points it hurt a bit. From no pain at all to a moderate discomfort but the gas and air soon go to work so after about 10 seconds it eased back, as soon as the bend was cleared the pain disappeared. The continued like this all the way up and each bend gave the same issue, not nice but certainly not end of the world either. Several biopsies were taken and I was vaguely aware of them but they did not hurt. 

    The air that is pumped in does cause discomfort and made feel sick, however, the consultant removed some of the air and I felt fine again. Finally just before the colonoscopy came out the camera was bent round so it could look back out, imagine the top of a walking stick! Anyhow that hurt a little but was over in about 5 seconds. Then it was done the whole thing taking about 45 mins and the discomfort in total lasting less than 2 minutes.

    As I had no sedation I was allowed to leave as soon as the throat spray had worn off.

    Now here is one really important tip. Remember that you are full of air and what goes in must come out. For me it I felt totally inflated and very uncomfortable like I had eaten a huge meal. As I was leaving the hospital it started moving out, please excuse the slang but it is farting like I have never known. This is embarrassing in a public place but the relief is marvellous. This continued for me for about 3 hours.

    overall the experience was unpleasant and not something I enjoyed but it certainly was not the stuff of nightmare. I have read all the horror stories but my experience simply was not that bad.

    So if you are considering these procedures with no sedation, I hope my experience is of some comfort to you. If it helps if I need to do it again I would not hesitate to have no sedation again. The only lasting effect is a sore throat and stingy backside. All the best to anyone who needs the procedure, try not to worry.

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