Sedation free colonoscopy

Posted , 8 users are following.

Thank you to everybody who has posted something to help new patients undergoing a colonoscopy. They really helped me to prepare for mine and iron out any concerns. my turn to contribute now. It's very clear that everybody has an individual reaction. It's not a one size fits all. The bowel prep for me went very smoothly. The only difficult bit was the hunger! The citramag tasted absolutely OK and I went to the loo around 10 times. I did wonder if it should look clear towards the end but diarrhoea was liquid like and yellow in final ones. I wasn't worried going into this and chose to go for sedation free as I think I have a high pain barrier. For the most part it was absolutely fine! I had a couple of twinges. When consultant was almost at the top, I had a moment of real pain which made me cry out. I felt like I was going to break the nurse's hand. She calmed me down, helping me to control my breathing - yoga style. That definitely helped! It feels really good to be able to just walk out. I'm not sure I would be brave enough to do that again. Hopefully there will be enough time lapsing before the next one and I'll forget the small painful section. 

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    Well done, you! On behalf of those might have a pain-free event, thank you for this contribution. But why does the profession feel it's OK to do this procedure without at least the level of anaesthetic a dentist would offer?
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    • Posted

      The sceptic in me would say it's about cost savings, the positive in me would say you don't lose the rest of your day and it is doable (although I do remember saying "I need this to stop now" at the worst bit). confused
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  • Posted

    Well done, very brave having no sedation. I would certainly rather be driven home and be knocked out as much as poss.  Lol
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  • Posted

    Well done Alice, you are one of the fortunate ones.
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  • Posted

    Well done Alice,

    mine was also totally pain free....although I did elect to have the "twilight" sedation offered..just made me feel like I'd had a large glass of wine!  Got the guided tour of my Colon, and only felt mildly uncomfortable when they did the bends....they call it waking sedation....you think you're awake but only remember the experience in part...

    Had a Nap and was woken with tea and biscuits....completely ok when driven home and no ill effects at all..very lucky.

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    • Posted

      Well done you too and everybody who has gone through one. We definitely are the lucky ones. Feel so bad for the patients who had such a tough time. If the small painful bit in my one was the whole experience for others, then they all deserve a medal! For anybody about to have one, be positive! 
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  • Posted

    Hi there 

    I just wanted to add my experience which it seems was very similar.  I had my first colonoscopy yesterday and was terrified both of the proceedure and the prep.  In the end again the prep I felt was very smooth.  Moviprep worked exactly as it should, more of a bore than anything else really!  And yes the hunger was absolutely one of the worst bits!  The hospital called me in early and were obviously trying to rattle through as quickly as possible being a Saturday.  I went in thinking I would be sedated, completely what I wanted being a bit of a baby.  In the event I was talked into having it sedation free with the premise that it would be so much better for me afterwards.  Now this would obviously be the case but sceptic in me would also say that a patient being sedated would make their day a lot longer and this was kind of what I felt could have been behind it.  They were not even really that keen on giving me painkillers but I insisted and thank the lord I did!  Even with painkillers It was extremely uncomfortable to the point that I really felt I couldnt go on several times. Apparantely a lot of sections were very rigid so this didnt help matters.   However as with you Alice I did a lot of deep breathing and managed to get through to the end.  And yes to be able to just walk away afterwards was much better.  I do agree with Chris though as to why they feel its OK to do this without at least some level of anaesthetic?  Im sure for some people it will be fine but not something I would want to repeat in a hurry!

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    • Posted

      Well done for getting through it all and for going for sedation free, especially when you were so worried. Very impressive and very brave!  I'm so glad this forum is here because just sharing it has really helped. Realising how different one individual to another is, it's important to do what's right for you.  I bet when we have another one, if we do, we'll have forgotten the bad bits (although right now, not as convinced)! 
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  • Posted

    Yes its good to hear we are all in the same boat.  and yes not totally convinced at the moment!
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  • Posted

    I also had a colonoscopy done nearly 4 weeks ago, my third since 2004. Also had a polypectomy done at the same time. The colonoscopy was done without sedation as was the case on the previous 2 occasions. but that was my choice. It has always been offered to me just before the procedure. When patients claim they were not offered a sedative, that is ridiculous and the hospital is duty bound to give you that option. You would certainly have a genuine complaint against the hospital if they refused you a sedative. But nevertheless I've not found it necessary so far. There was some discomfort as in all 3 occasions, and definite sharp twinges when the scope enters the transverse colon, but I knew what to expect from past experience. And of course there is the feeling of feeling bloated at the time of the procedure (they pump air into your colon to dilate it so that the scope moves through it freely). But that soon wears off within a few hours.

    I know there have been a number of people who have had a colonoscopy and found it agonising but I suspect they are in a small minority. I think a lot depends on the Colonoscopist. Mine was a Consultant Gastroenterologist whom I'd never met until the procedure and he certainly knew what he was doing during the procedure. It seems nearly all the patients who found it very painful despite being sedated are women, so I'm beginning to wonder whether their colons have a slightly different arrangement in the body to that of a male which makes it a less painful experoence for us. Or are some of us merely more sensitive to discomfort than others? I've found going to the dentist and having a molar removed or a filling done a far more unpleasant experience,

    if you have had a serious colonic issue (eg blood in your poo or persistent constipation or diarrhoea), it's a far better idea to get a colonoscopy done and grin and bear any discomfort than ignore worrying symptoms which might be evidence of something sinister..

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  • Posted

    I too went through all the above procedures quite painlessly. However still getting pain in the backside after passing stools. Lasts for hours as well. Is this usual. Op was 8 weeks ago
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