Worried about a gastroscopy!

Posted , 11 users are following.

I've been suffering for a few months now with nausea and stomach pains, and after investigating for a lot of things, a blood test for coeliac disease has come back boderline. It has therefore been suggested I have a gastroscopy with a gut biopsy.

I am really really nervous about this, I am phobic of being sick and have a really strong gag reflex, and then cry and find breathing very hard as I panic if this is stimulated - my dentist has to refer me for anaesthetic anytime I need anything more than a check up because I find it too distressing. Even having the mouth guard put in to hold my mouth open at the dentists was unbearable and he had to remove it straight away.

Does anyone know if the procedure can be done under general? I'd feel a lot more comfortable about that. As my blood test was borderline can I request another to confirm before putting myself through this? Why is it advisable over simply trying a gluten free diet to see if that alleviates symptoms? Since my doctor has told me that I have been reffered for the procedure I have found sleeping and eating difficult as I am so nervous.

I am very seriously considering refusing the procedure because I am so anxious about it, so any advice or experiences (these seem to be mixed from what I've read, but all involve some gagging/retching which utterly terrifies me) you can give me would be appreciated.

Thanks

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Yes if you are a bit sensitive to Gluten then why not just remove it from your diet and see if that helps. You'll be very lucky indeed if you are offered a General, the most you can probably hope for is to be too out of it to care (on sedatives). Yes there can be a lot of gagging, retching and air rushing / burping out and whatnot. I've had loads of them without sedation, I'm a grown man and it even leaves me a bit wobbly and shaking, so you'd be in a right state smile
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  • Posted

    I don't know whether you have had your endoscopy yet, but I was absolutely terrified like you and asked if I could have it under a general. However, I finally had one recently with sedation and cannot remember a thing about it. My main fear was gagging and feeling as if I couldn't breathe, but neither of these were a problem. When I woke up it was as if I had had a general - I couldn't remember anything about it.

    I would thorougly recommend calling the endoscopy department and asking to speak to a nurse or doctor - I did this before mine. You can tell them all your concerns about being sick, gagging, wearing the mouth guard and I am sure they will do all they can to help you. May be you could ask if they could give you a small amount of sedative before you put the mouth guard in, just so you are calmer - I was worried about wearing it too, but it wasn't bad at all. They will have lots of experience of helping people who are very anxious.

    I know it is easy to say, but try not to worry. I am the most nervous and fearful person when faced with something like this, but it was so much better than I could possibly have imagined. The staff were incredibly supportive and understanding of all my concerns, and did all they could to make things easier for me.

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  • Posted

    Just as an aside, in case OP is not aware, neither the blood test nor the gastroscopy will be of much diagnostic use if you are not eating a significant amount of gluten every day ( for around 6 weeks before either test )

    HTH

    Rex

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    My procedure is scheduled for next Monday evening, have had panic attacks thinking just thinking about it! Some people seem to have had such awful experiences, even with sedation, and despite all the people saying otherwise, I'm seriously worried I'll be one of them. Wasn't filled with confidence when I met the consultant either, his attitude seemed to be that I was being a bit pathetic for expressing anxiety, and said he'd only give enough sedative to take the edge off. Am going to speak to my GP tomorrow and let them know how concerned I am, in case there is a way of getting the sedative dosage upped or anything, otherwise I'm very seriously considering cancelling!

    I've been sticking to my at least 2 slices of bread a day for 2 months now, but thanks for pointing that out!

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  • Posted

    Hello Alice88, I have to face a gastroscopy and feel exactly like you did. Did you have the procedure in the end? Hoping for some reassurance......thx
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  • Posted

    Hi Alice88

    I just read your post. I have to have the procedure next week. It is something I have always dreaded. I will be sedated but am really worried about swallowing the tube. I can't even get my throat checked at my gp without gagging.

    Did you have the procedure done in the end? How was it? Please be honest because I can cope better if I know what to expect.

    Thanks.

    Grainne

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  • Posted

    I've just come back from my Gastroscopy and I had the drugs injected into the back of my hands and don't remember much, if anything about it. No sore throat either, just a slight tummy ache. Going to the dentist is worst. Go for it - you'll be fine.

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  • Posted

    Hey,

    I had a gastroscopy done a while ago. Please don't worry about it, it's really not a big deal. Yeah of course u'll be nervous but that's normal. I was quite nervous too to start off with. But my consultant was amazing, he talked to me and made me feel really relaxed.

    I didn't heave at all throughout the whole procedure, the spray they spray in your throat numbs ur senses in the throat, so u won't have the gag reflex at all. U can feel the pipe going down a little bit but it's not painful at all, just weird. All u have to think about is that u want to know it too what's going on in ur stomach.

    One of the nurses might hold your head and that's for your safety only. They know how some people react and all they want to do is get it done quickly.

    While the pipe is in ur throat/stomach it's not painful at all either, it's just a bit strange but seriously not painful. And when he's taking it out, u can't feel that either. The worst part is the spray, because it tastes like rotten bananas! and stings a little bit :-)

    Don't ask for a sedation, it's definitely not worth it. Just prepare urself for the thought of a pipe going down into ur stomach.

    Good luck and don't panic, they all know what they are doing and they want to help, u'll be in safe hands!

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  • Posted

    Hi Alice, Hi All

    Alice, I'm sure you've had your gastroscopy by now and I hope all went well smile . For anyone else reading this who's worried about an upcoming gastroscopy, I just wanted to reassure you and say that, like Alice, I am severely emetophobic and was very worried about my procedure. HOWEVER, I told the doctor that I wanted to be completely sedated - sometimes they think they're doing you a favour by only using light sedation, as then you can get back to normal and drive the next day etc. If you have complete sedation (not general anaesthetic, but it may as well be, as you don't remember anything at all) then it may take longer to get back to normal, in the way that it would do if you'd had a general. For me, I didn't care about the getting back to normal thing - I just took 3 days off work to recover. SO, if you are worried about the procedure, talk to the doctor beforehand, ask for complete sedation and just make sure you book a few days off afterwards so that you can relax and recover from the sedation - I really needed this, as I did feel groggy for a while.

    I also wanted to report that I had no sore throat after the procedure, no stomach pain, no sickness, etc. It really was fine and I'm sure it will be for you too! Please don't be worried smile .

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  • Posted

    Hi

    Like many of the contributors to this forum, I was terrified of having an endoscopy and have avoided it for years. I know quite a few people who have had it done without sedation and they have all said it was a dreadful experience. I think the only reason I eventually had one done yesterday was because I'd read some positive reports here of people's experiences. And here's another one smile I was very nervous when I arrived at the hospital and was on the verge of chickening out but the nursing staff and the endoscopist were very sympathetic and supportive. They could tell how nervous and I was and I was reassured by the endoscopist that she would not begin the procedure until the sedation had taken effect. She was true to her word - I don't remember anything in between the mouth guard being put in my mouth and 'coming round' in the recovery room. I have no recollection of the procedure at all and I certainly won't be concerned if I ever have to have another one. I recovered fairly quickly from the sedation, didn't have a sore thoat or suffer from wind - I even thought the mouth spray tasted quite nice! I appreciate that people can experience this procedure quite differently but most of the contributors here who have had a positive experience seem to have done so because they were given enough sedation.

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  • Posted

    Hi Everyone,

    I posted here over a year ago seeking reassurance because I had to have an endoscopy. I managed to put it off for a year but today I had it done! So relieved it's over but actually it was fine. I realise that the thought of it was actually more terrifying than the procedure itself. I didn't even have to get undressed. I opted for sedation and once they put the sedative, Midazolam, into the IV, I can only remember waiting a few seconds while feeling woozy - the next thing I remember is slight gagging while they pulled the tube out - and then next waking up in the recovery room. It was so completely fine that I would not be overly concerned about having another one! And the best thing is knowing what is wrong with your stomach.

    Afterwards I felt a bit bloated and had very mild stomach pain due to wind and only the very merest hint of a sore throat (not really sore, just like a feeling that isn't usually there). I have eaten normally and slept off the sedative this afternoon.

    So good luck to others - it's really ok and I'm being completely honest smile

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  • Posted

    Hi

    I had a gastroscopy this morning without sedative. There is no pain at any point whatsoever. The whole thing was done and dusted in about 3 minutes. It is a little uncomfortable feeling a camera inside you but not really all that bad. The camera wire was smaller than I imagined and i swallowed it without gagging etc. the spray wears off in about 10 mins and you can have a cup of tea. I would recommend no sedative and relax yourself , it's no where near as bad as you imagine or others tell you ( they like to look brave)- good luck

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  • Posted

    Thanks everyone.....having one on the 4th of next month. Can really relate to the feeling of panic. However, reading the positive posts on here has helped a lot and in turn 'am thinking more positive about it now. Do need to know what is going on inside so must have it done. Will post on here how it goes so I can be one of those people helping others to go through with it.
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  • Posted

    I had a gastroscopy a few years ago to test for coeliac disease. I found it not real pleasant and would recommend a good sedative, I had none as I wanted to be up and going afterwards, but next time would. By the way I did have coeliac and now on diet. Best to get the biopsy done to be sure. Once you go on a GF diet, some people find it hard to go back to gluten. You have to be having gluten for 6 weeks for it to show up. Once you go off gluten, your body is extra sensative to gluten if that is the problem.
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