Scared of endoscopy

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Hello there,

I had an Endoscopy when I was younger and due to having panic attacks and anxiety, I experienced one of these during my Endoscopy (Even after having gas), I have missed 3 appointments for my Endoscopy for this reason and have been referred back to my GP. I have now been asked to do another but my anxiety is flaring up big time!

Is there any other tests they can perform instead of this if I ask the doctor? I don't dare ask my doctor or tell him that I'm scared of a simple procedure. Cheers!

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    It does depend what they're looking for.

    There is the cytosponge which is still being trialled extensively in Northern England and will be available widely soon (we hope) whereby a capsule on a string is swallowed while the string is held. I a few minutes, the outer capsule dissolves in the stomach relasing a compressed sponge ball which can then be retrieved by pulling the string and capturing millions of oesophageal cells on route.

    There is also a camera on a string that sends images wirelessly but you may find difficulty finding a centre that has this.

    However, nothing really compares with endoscopy for precise imaging and ability to biopsy precise points of concern.

    There are some trans-nasal scopes available as weel which can be passed through the nose. (The charity I chair is currently raising funds to purchase a fine bore endoscope for our local hospital that may be used trans-nasally if required.)

    Talk with your doctors about the fears. It is possible (if necessary) to have the scope performed under anaesthetic.

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  • Posted

    Hi John, i think most people are scared of endoscopy or colonoscopy, i have had had to have both 5/6 times now, my First one was a nightmare as i was not properly sedated and after that i insisted that i needed to be given maximun sedation and i have never had a problem. I suffer from Post traumatic stress and anxiety and belive me i know how sacred you can feel, Im a nurse also . Please tell your doctor how you feel and with maximum seadtion you wont be aware at all. Good luck will be thinking of you and remember what you are feeling is quiet normal.
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  • Posted

    I can't even imagine having one without sedation. All of mine (4 or 5) have been under sedation. It takes about 10-15 mins then you wake up in recovery. No after affects just not to drive for 24 hours.
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  • Posted

    Hi John, I had mine without sedation as I wanted to get the results there and then. I was given spray to the back of my throat to freeze it and make the procedure easier for me. The procedure is bearable - you may gag and wretch a bit as the tube is inserted and removed but it is over fairly quickly.

    In the past I've also had a camera inserted up my nose and down my throat after a jaw fracture by an anesthetist just before surgery. I think I'd had a pre-med at that point so was kind of sedated and barely felt it and had no gagging or wretching.

    In short if you're nervous about the procedure go for the option of having sedative and I'm sure you'll be fine!

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  • Posted

    lve had them under anascetic and without, for reasons of after care, without it is quick a few minutes,  but not a good experience, more so if you get anxious, it made me gag and retch a lot, but survived it. Though the anascetic one is easier,  it doesnt take long to come round and up and on your way with no after affects. Your gp should understand as they do get people with anxiety over all manner of things, even blood tests, jabs, theyll be wondering anyway why youve not had it done, so have a chat about it. 
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