Where to find 'nonstandard' colonoscopies??? (USA)

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I live in the USA.  I want an unsedated colonoscopy because I don't like the idea of medicine, being put to sleep, etc. and one time I also had a bad experience with a sedative.

Apparently it's hard to find doctors in the USA to do these things unsedated, at least in my area.  I did find one the other day who said he'd do it, however when I asked how many unsedated ones he'd done before, he said ZERO, and anyone would tell you you need a doctor with experience doing them unsedated or you are in for a rough ride.

There is also something called 'water assisted' or 'water exchange method' which is supposed to make it a lot more comfortable for an unsedated patient, however no luck in finding clinics or doctors who advertise this.

Finally, I decided I might have more luck with an MRI colonoscopy (not ct - don't want the radiation).  However, google searches only come up with articles on the subject, not places where one can get one done.

Any help?


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  • Posted

    Hi Yadda. I’m just curious where you live? I’m in a small city in Upstate NY and didn’t have any problem finding someone experienced to do it unsedated? My BF is going in a few days through the VAcand they also agreed. 

    As far as the water method - I had read and inquired about that too - but didn’t get anywhere with it. I did standard “air” and it was very easy, painless. I’m female, 50. The thing to remember with the air is they do have ‘control’ over how much they are pumping in - and so can suck it back out also - if you have a painful moment. I just had one and it was just for a couple seconds - nothing more than a gas bubble pain. Keep up your search!! 

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  • Posted

    Good Morning:

    Water infusion versus air insufflation for colonoscopy. The best benefit of water infusion colonoscopy is reduction of procedure related abdominal pain the patient feels.

    The medical community complains not enough people get tested yet, they have a method whereby the procedure would be less painful to the patient which in turn might get more people to get tested.

    So why are they being so slow in implementing the change if they really want people to get tested?

    From a comfort level, the best way one an have this test is to find a provider who uses water infusion then has a tech experienced in using the pediatric colonoscope as it's just as effective as the adult colonoscope but the key difference is if you have a tech who is skilled in using the pediatric colonoscope it can be passed thru your colon easier which means less chance of painful cramping.

    My feeling is this system is not widely available in the US because the US healthcare system is greedy.

    They want you sedated because;

    1. The drug combination they use makes the patient more compliant during the procedure and afterwards if they got the dosage correct said patient remembers nothing.

    2. More importantly, by sedating you, the cost goes up whereby lining their pockets with more $$.

    They're trading lives they could save by using water fusion and the pediatric colonoscope for $$$$$.

    Patient comfort is way down on their list of priorities.



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    • Posted

      I agree that the drugs that are used in the US for colonoscopies do make patients compliant.  Versed (Midazolam) does have sedative effects, but frankly, it is an amnesiac.  It works by hopefully being of sufficient dosage to erase any memory of the pain.  But I have seen many complaints on the internet from patient who DO remember the pain, but the sedative effect of versed make them incapable of voicing their actual pain.  Again, there is also the risk of having this so-called temporary amnesiac drug actually destroy one's memory permanently.  Some patients have recorded experiences in which they were permanently disabled because they could no longer access that memory they needed in their highly skilled employment scenarios.  Those that actually work as physicians oftentimes refuse versed because of the long term mental impairment they have seen patients experience.  Unfortunately, many studies related to colonoscopies do not measure long term risks to one's memory.  The other medication used, propofol, is a fast acting anesthetic.  The use of propofol, which is fast acting and it clears the system quickly afterwards, adds much expense, because of the need for an anesthesiologist or a nurse anesthetist related to the risk of respiratory depression (which would possible require intubation and a ventilator).  Both of these medications benefit the gastroenterologist because he can go as fast as he wants because the patient is compliant.  Unfortunately, going a faster speed also increases the risks of perforation, real pain related to "looping" in which the colon is stretched out, and possible avulsion of the spleen which would result in a splenectomy.  All very real risks.  For a screening test.  Yes, colon cancer is a risk but there is no other screening test that has such a list of risks, including death ( 1/1,200 approximately) in the US.  Choose wisely.

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