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Taylor1991 Taylor1991

Went for endoscopy appointment yesterday but was told when I woke up it hadn't been done!

I had an appointment for endoscopy yesterday morning at 8:15am I was absolutely petrified and suffering from anxiety made matters worse,I had my consultation and then was taken through to the procedure room and all I remember was the nurse giving me the spray at the back of my throat,a nurse trying to put a cannula in my hand but there wasn't a good vein so it had to go in my arm...then the mouth peice going in and then I woke up in recovery and the nurse said the procedure was abandoned as I kept trying to pull the scope out...i don't remember this atal and I'm gutted that they couldn't do it. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

13 Replies

  • lily65668 Taylor1991

    Hi Taylor,

    I wouldn't complain too much in your place. It's extremely rare that they'd abandon a procedure like this. The most common course of action (speaking both as a former nurse and a patient) would be to call in as many people as possible to hold you down so the procedure can be completed. This often results in a painful recovery, with the patient causing themselves minor injuries during the struggle. And in the less common cases (like mine) where the patient actually comes out of it with full recall, it can be very traumatic.

    The problem with sedation (in which the patient actually remains conscious, even though they usually have no memory of the procedure) is that it can suppress the higher intellectual centres, which would encourage cooperation, leaving the more primitive midbrain in charge, with its fight-or-flight instincts. That's what happened to me. I knew perfectly well where I was, what they were trying to do and why, but I couldn't control myself. It took six people to hold me down in order to complete the procedure, leaving me severely traumatised.

    To reassure others, this is a relatively uncommon course of events, and far more likely to occur in the over-65s, who can only be given a half-dose of sedation for safety reasons. (I was 69 at the time.) The vast majority of younger people - and many seniors too - come out of the procedure with no memory of it whatever, convinced they've been unconscious throughout.

    I'd suggest that in future you either opt for the throat spray alone (in which case they'll give you a much bigger dose) or try to insist on a general anaesthetic. That's what I'll do in the event I ever have to have another gastroscopy - which I fervently hope I don't!

    Some doctors will agree to do a scan (CT or MRI) instead of a gastroscopy. An MRI is just as accurate, though it doesn't offer the opportunity to take biopsies, of course. The other possibility is a barium meal or swallow, but this isn't very accurate.

    Finally, look at how essential your endoscopy is. I've clearly had symptoms of GERD for 40 years (not the reason for the endoscopy) but have always been able to manage them with lifestyle measures. Remember that when a doctor orders an invasive test like this, it doesn't necessarily mean that he/she thinks there's something seriously wrong with you - though it can in some circumstances, of course. It's just as likely to be "defensive medicine" or, in some countries (like mine), even a desire to provide more work for colleagues in a mutual back-scratching set-up.

    Caveat emptor!

    • Taylor1991 lily65668

      Hi,thank you for you reply. I did consider just having the throat spray but I'm so scared of the thought of the procedure that I opted for sedation so I wouldn't remember anything...this didn't go to plan as I didn't remember anything but the procedure wasn't done. I've been waiting a few months for this aswel so I'm gutted...ive had reflux problems since I was 16 and I'm now 26... I would rather the doctors and nurses had held me down and done it no matter how much I was fighting against them as now I have to wait for another appointment and I doubt I will be able to have a general anaesthetic as I've heard the nhs only give a general to children. The nurse before I left mentioned that it might have to be a barium meal x ray next time but they can't see in as much detail with that. I'm so annoyed with myself

  • emma10578 Taylor1991

    I’ve had two endoscopies done now. Both without anesthetic and just the throat spray. I have heard that anesthetic can make some people ‘act up’ without knowing they’re doing it. Consider doing it with jusy the throat spray. It’s not so bad really. They tell you if it gets too much to stick your hand in the air, and this signals you’ve withdrawn consent and they’ll stop right away. It’s usually in an out within five minutes and the worst bit is swallowing the damn thing since you’re mouth is numb. 

    • lily65668 emma10578

      I agree that throat spray would be preferable in older patients or those who've had a problem with sedation. That way, there can be no temptation for the medical staff to use force on the grounds the patient won't remember it afterwards.

      Just to clarify something in your post - a general anaesthetic is entirely different from sedation. If you can persuade your doctor to let you have it done under GA you'll be completely unconscious, with no risk of acting up.

      It's so-called "procedural sedation" that can cause a problem in just a small number of patients. In my day it used to be called "conscious sedation", which describes it much more accurately. However, doctors re-christened it because they didn't like the idea of patients knowing they'd be conscious throughout - even if most of them would retain no memory of the procedure.

    • BettyE emma10578

      Absolutely agree with you. I've only had one but the staff were great. Talked to me all the time. I found the numb throat the least comfortable bit but I think you have to have the spray anyway. Swallowed when they told me to and down it went. Felt like a piece of dry bread, no worse.  Had to keep telling myself to relax and breath slowly. I'm as panicky as the next but I find it helps to know what is going on and being able to co-operate with the staff helps everyone.

    • Taylor1991 emma10578

      I'm so scared of having it done with just the throat spray. Once the scope is down and past the gag reflex can you feel it?I don't know if I'll be given another chance to have it done again or they will decide the barium meal x ray. Not sure how it works now as it's being referred back to my gp

    • Taylor1991 lily65668

      I'm going to try and push for a general anaesthetic as I need it done to find out what's going on as I've had acid reflux since I was 16 and I'm now 26. I also had problems as a baby with osephagual reflux I'm not sure if that's the same thing I'm just worried about the damage to my osephagus from the acid and want to know why I constantly have reflux even with omeprazole.. Looks like a waiting game while it's referred back to my gp 😔

    • BettyE Taylor1991

      Can only give you my experience, but no,  once past the "piece of dry bread "  swallow bit I felt nothing. They offered to let me see my innards as they did the investigation which was interesting and distracting. The scope was removed slowly and painlessly. 

      Very best of luck for a good outcome.


    • lily65668 Taylor1991

      You know, while you're waiting for this to get sorted out, there's a huge amount you can do for yourself.

      The most important thing is to identify which foods or combinations of foods cause the problem or make it worse. Then you can avoid them.

      Sometimes it can be the timing rather than the food itself. I long ago discovered that bread causes acid reflux in me. I can eat a little during the day, but never in the evening. That's just one example. Everyone has different triggers.

      I managed to stop practically all my problems during the night by raising the head of my mattress slightly. But it's important to raise the head of the bed or the mattress, not just adding extra pillows (unless they're under the mattress). If you raise your shoulders with extra pillows on top of the bed, you'll just scrunch up your chest and abdomen, which will make it worse.

      You should also avoid constipation, which can cause back-pressure into the stomach - and ditto tight trousers. The latter was a complete revelation to me about 20 years ago!

      Two other common causes of acid reflux are obesity (or even being a bit overweight) and stress. Stress causes us to unconsciously tighten our abdominal muscles, putting pressure on the stomach and forcing acid upwards. And smoking never helps anything, of course.

      With a bit of careful observation it's often possible to get the problem of acid reflux under some sort of control yourself, without relying entirely on medication or even surgery.

    • emma10578 Taylor1991

      You can feel it and it’s a bit uncomfortable like something pressing against the back of your throat. I gagged a little bit it’ll be no where near as bad as you think. Focus on another part of your body (like really focus and think about the sensations you can feel there and you’ll be less aware of the endoscope). It doesn’t hurt though, just breath and know it’ll be over if minutes. Ive also has acid reflux for years (on and off) but it flares up at times which is why I had another endoscopy recently. Both mine (10 years apart) were both totally normal, no damage, so try not to worry too much smile 

    • Taylor1991 emma10578

      Well if I get offered a 2nd one I will just have the throat spray and keep calm. Thank you for your advice 😊I know it's not half as bad as people make out I just need to calm down before I go and it will be over and done with 😊

    • Taylor1991 lily65668

      I have found out foods that trigger it and I do avoid them..i also don't eat after 7pm as my reflux gets worse the later I eat.

      I've tried the propping the pillows up and laying on my left side etc and I still get acid backing up into my throat.

      I'm not obese lol I'm only 8 stone so that's not the issue for me. I wouldn't say I get stressed easily either but I do smoke which I know dosent help acid atal.

      The reason I got referred to the hospital for endoscopy is because my gp thinks I have a hiatus hernia or a defect from birth as I was born 8 weeks early and like I said I had problems with reflux as a baby.

      Will just wait to see what my gps next step is. Thank you for all your advice.

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