Sigmoidoscopy abandoned due to enema not working properly.

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Has anyone been in the position of having a sigmoidoscopy abandoned as there was still stool in the rectum after the enema. I have to go back and have 2 enemas next time as a constipation sufferer I am wondering if this is why the enema did not work sufficiently. Any one offer advice.

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  • Posted


    Yes, it happened to me a couple of years ago. I had a sedation injection and gas and air.

    I don't remember anything about the procedure. But the report said I objected, so the procedure was stopped. I thought I followed the instructions beforehand, about only eating/drinking certain things, the day or 2 beforehand. I think you have to follow the instructions, advice for a few days, maybe 5 - 7 days? I was advised by the flexi sig nurses, to have it done under a full anaesthetic. I was so worked up & panicked, after reading patients that had it done. It only took one negative comment to scare the living daylights out of me. I rang the nursing team to let them know. I didn't have it done at all in the end, problems cleared up by itself. If you're nervous, let them know, have the g & s, that was weird, I felt numb all over. Have the sedative injection too. You won't remember anything.

    Hope this helps.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply julie_58155 I know how you feel I suffer from anxiety and get so frightened about things like this. Glad your problem cleared up by itself. I had a full colonoscopy because of bleeding 3 years ago when I was 69. It was at another hospital in the area. I had light sedation and was awake but relaxed had a fantastic surgeon who was kind and gentle all went well 1 polyp benign removed and diagnosis of diverticulosis and internal haemerroids (I already had IBS and other health issues). This time round had rectal bleeding and saw consultant and this time he thought a sigmoidoscopy would be enough. After I had the enema at the hospital I was told to wait 5mins if possible as they work very quickly if I could not then don't worry just go. Well I think I waited about 4 mins. I could feel the water coming out just as I sat on the toilet (sorry to be graphic). Well when I checked it was just clear water and a couple of small pieces of stool. I said to the nurses that I did not think it had worked but they did not seem concerned when they started the sigmoidoscopy they said they could not continue as there was solid stool in the rectum and I would have to rebook. I asked if I could perhaps try to go to the toilet again or have another enema but they said no as I had already had the sedation. I asked could a nurse not be with me I was perfectly able to walk to the toilet as the sedation was very light. No would have to rebook as you can imagine not happy about this and not good for my anxiety either. To add to the problem when they took the cannula out almost the whole of the top of the hand was bruised. I am waiting for another appointment and this time they have said a double enema. Whilst replying to you have managed to get through on the phone to my gp and have an appointment to see her this afternoon to discuss it. I have since learnt from another forum that a lot of people having a sigmoidoscopy are given the full moviprep at home which is done for colonoscopy so you have a complete clean bowels. I suffer with constipation and others have told me it takes much longer to work. I left the hospital at around 1.30 having been there since 11.30 and I did have to empty my bowels around 3pm so there looks like there might be some truth in that. They seem to think everyone is the same. I am hoping my gp with be able to suggest something before the appointment comes throught. Now I have to go through the anixety all over again. I am sure this could have been avoided,

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    • Posted

      Pardon the pun, but what a pain in the **** this is for you. Having to go back yet again.. I'm sorry for the inconvenience, stress and anxiety it's going to cause you too. With having a colonoscopy, it's further & higher up into the bowel, if you look online, utube etc, colon goes up & around the corner/bend at the top. With that procedure, I read that you are fully anaesthetised for it. I'd ask beforehand just to make sure, say about your anxiety, fears and stress levels on the phone to them. As I did, I warned them beforehand so that they knew what to expect from me on the day. I try and tried to talk myself out of it to them. I think I even took a valium tablet in the morning. Google is a bad thing in some ways.. I'll look up everything, then the scare stories, it only takes one negative to scare & panic the living daylight out of me. My Gp thinks I had a blockage, which cleared by itself. But if I need to have a flexi sig, again, I'll have it done under a full anaesthetic. As the flexi sig doctor & nurses suggested. They didn't do it at Braintree Hospital, so I'd be referred to Broomfield Hospital for it to be done. Personally I'd rather not know & be asleep while it's done, for my benefit as well as the nurses/Dr.

      I even said I'd rather have breast cancer 2015 again than this - I did 2018. It's the fear & panic of not knowing what to expect, that's why I Google everything to find out first.

      Please let me know how you get on and how you are please. I will be thinking of you now.

      Love & best wishes to you.


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    • Posted

      Hello again Julie Thanks for your reply. I had a colonoscopy 2 years ago as I mentioned was only offered light sedation or nothing. As I said the consultant was lovely and very gentle. After having the light sedation my blood pressure went down and I was very relaxed but quite with it and able to watch on the screen and speak to the consultant who was doing the scope. I felt nothing except when he turned a corner as you mentioned seconds of slight cramp nothing really I must of flinched or said something as he apologised and stopped for a moment. He told me what he was doing and I watched the screen when they removed the polyp. Before This I was waiting in a side room on my own ready to go moviprep done over evening and morning at home and cannula in for sedation. I was so frightened I was almost climbing the wall. I stood by the door a a nurse went buy and asked if I was ok she must have seen me shaking. She got me in quickly to the ward and went and asked where I was on the list. She came back and told me I was next it was better in the ward as there were other people and nurses. The consultant came and saw me and reassured me and then I went down to have it done and as I said It was fine not what I expected at all.I have managed to get a GP appointment this afternoon and I am going to tell her what happened and see what she suggests. I forgot to say that when I was at the hospital I even asked if the next time should I perhaps go on a low residue diet for a few days before and take laxatives as I suffer from constipation which I think is part of the reason why the enema did not work properly. She said you can have 2 enemas it sometimes happens that they don't work. They were all very nice though but I still feel a bit let down because I have to go back again and worried it will not work. Will let you know what happens but it won't be for 2 weeks.

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