To refuse a colonoscopy!

(95 Posts)
LadyApricot Mon 04-Mar-13 10:15:09

After having ibs for 6 years and having to leave my job and basically become a hermit, I managed to see a private gastro consultant.
He said if he put 100 consultants in a room, half would say to do the colonoscopy and half would say not to.
However, bowel cancer is in my family and he decided I should do it after thinking about it..
I've read up on it and it sounds hideous and with risks involved.
I have been referred to a dietician and I'm wondering would I BU to cancel the colonoscopy?

inchoccyheaven Mon 04-Mar-13 10:23:01

please don't cancel. It really isn't that bad and they could learn alot about your insides. I have chrons and have had a few colonoscopy and for me the worse bit is drinking the stuff to clear you out as I am rubbish at drinking horrible stuff or taking tablets. You are in a relaxed woosy state when they do it so it doesn't hurt and you sleep it off after.

They told me immediately that I had chrons and put me straight on to treatment which was great. A friend of mine has a friend that recently had one done and went in thinking she was going to get told she had chrons but it turned out to be cancer so thank goodness she did have it done and can be treated and hopefully have a good chance of survival.

Please please do it just for peace of mind.

kinkyfuckery Mon 04-Mar-13 10:24:47

If it could find something that they can help you with, and they're not just deciding that they want to shove something up your arse for fun, why wouldn't you do it?

maddening Mon 04-Mar-13 10:25:39

Had one - was sedated - was fine.

spiderlight Mon 04-Mar-13 10:33:02

It's not hideous. I had two last year, both without sedation, and while I confess that they're not what you would choose for a morning out, they were really, truly not that bad. The laxatives the day before are pretty vile, but the procedure itself is OK - I didn't find it painful at all, just a bit of an odd sensation, and I found it fascinating watching the screen. The second time around, when the doctor found out I had a background in biology, he took me on a little tour of my insides - 'This is where your appendix comes out, look! This is the top of the colon. We've finished now, but would you like me to go a little bit further so you can see your villi?' grin I appreciate that that's not for everybody, but hopefully it will show that I wasn't in pain or stressed at all at the time. I have a lifetime of these ahead of me (ulcerative colitis) but honestly I get more stressed about check-ups at the dentist.

spiderlight Mon 04-Mar-13 10:33:59

(And I have severe anxiety disorder and a particular fear of hospitals)

MmeThenardier Mon 04-Mar-13 10:36:57

This procedure is not without risk.

I wouldn't have any procedure that wasn't clearly indicated - a surgeon who was that uncertain really wouldn't convince me.

Of course, generally a colonoscopy is routine but there is a risk of complications. Just to balance the positive experiences on here, I know someone whose bowel was perforated during the procedure leading to open surgery and a colostomy bag for a year. From memory the incidence of this is surprisingly high, 1 in 100.

What about trying the dietician for a while first. Presumably if you have been having problems for 6 years, unless something has suddenly changed there is unlikely to be a serious problem.

I wonder if you would have been offered this as an NHS patient?

Good Luck deciding

MmeThenardier Mon 04-Mar-13 10:38:28

OMG Spider I can't believe you received a walk through of your own insides...

StickEmUp Mon 04-Mar-13 10:39:05

I've had one, and a endoscopy. Neither hideous.
Please please do it.

highlandcoo Mon 04-Mar-13 10:44:20

I had a colonoscopy last year after digestive problems.

They found what would have become bowel cancer (no history in the family either) but it was at such an early stage that they were able to remove the polyps before they turned cancerous. I have to go back for the same procedure every two years as this is likely to recur, but they have said I should never develop bowel cancer if I go down this route.

Just my experience ... but I would advise you to do it.

Katienana Mon 04-Mar-13 10:45:50

Dh has them every 2 years as bowel cancer in family. I would get it done - you are more likely to regret not doing it.

auntmargaret Mon 04-Mar-13 10:49:50

My sister put it off because she thought a colonoscopy sounded awful. She ignored symptoms for 9 months before she went to GP. She died last October. By that time, the cancer had moved into her brain. She couldn`t walk because her balance had gone. Her speech was slurred. For the last few weeks she was bedridden. She was 45. I have lost a lifetime with her due to embarrassment and I`m heartbroken. Please get it done. The indignity of that is nothing to what cancer can do to you.

SlatternismyMiddlename Mon 04-Mar-13 10:50:17

My DF has had this procedure done several times, unfortunately the last one caused a perforation and he spent a week in hospital. Although it was very serious at the time he has made a full recovery.

About a year after that happened I had to have one done and I was very nervous especially after what happened to DF. It was absolutely fine, not even in my top 10 worst procedures done to me. As mentioned above the worst bit of the whole thing is drinking the damn laxative, urrggghh.

If there was any chance at all it would improve your quality of life I would do it (easy for me to say).

survivingthechildren Mon 04-Mar-13 10:50:44

I had one a 17. The worst part was the needle. I went to sleep, and then woke up when it was all over!

If I could face my fears at 17 for peace of mind, then so can you smile

Courage!

pigletmania Mon 04-Mar-13 10:50:55

Do it please do it. Dear dad died f bowel cancer as he stuck his head in the sand and dident go to te doctor until it was too late. Uncomfortable now, but it's for the greater good. See if tey can give you a sedative to make it easier

exexpat Mon 04-Mar-13 10:54:33

I had one to rule out ulcerative colitis, years ago. Was sedated, so woozy, and it really wasn't that bad. The only unpleasant thing really was the extra-strong laxatives you have to take beforehand to clear out your system, but that only takes half a day. Of course there is the outside chance of something going wrong (Dr Google gives a risk of serious complications of roughly 0.35%), but it could save your life if there is something serious going on.

MerryMingeWhingesAgain Mon 04-Mar-13 10:55:12

I haven't had a colonscopy but have had a flexi sig - same thing but they don't go as far into the bowel so sedation is optional.

The prep was dreadful (medicine to wash out the bowel by causing lots of watery poo so they can view the bowel properly), but the procedure was fine. I had no sedation. Bowel cancer is very treatable if found early, if a test has been recommended please don't refuse for an unwise reason.

I have also observed people having a colonscopy, with pain relief and sedation, you are able to cooperate but a bit fuzzy and usually don't remember much afterwards.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 04-Mar-13 10:55:52

If this were part of a general health MOT, I'd say why bother.

As it's an ongoing (6 year) problem, I'd honestly give it a go.

geisha Mon 04-Mar-13 10:56:55

You wouldn't be unreasonable to cancel you colonoscopy, but please don't. This procedure saves lives. Nothing we do in life is without risk - getting in the car and driving to work, walking the kids to school, taking a flight. The risk of dying from undiagnosed bowel cancer (particularly with your positive family history) is higher than a complication of colonoscopy. Besides, it sounds like your life is made difficult because of your symptoms. Wouldn't it be helpful to get a diagnosis (or rule out a diagnosis) and start managing your condition and getting your life back to as near normal as you can?
If you are still not convinced get a second opinion. But please don't just cancel the colonoscopy and forget about it.

geisha Mon 04-Mar-13 10:58:06

The midazolam sedation they will give you for the procedure means that whilst you can cooperate, you will barely remember a thing about it...

Please go. I make DP go for his every 2 years as DFIL and GFIL have/had bowel cancer and there are various other cancers in the family.

They discover polyps every time and as they remove them there and then he (touch wood) has no problems.
Just waiting on genetic testing now.

Meglet Mon 04-Mar-13 11:00:31

I've had a colonoscopy for IBS.

Yes, the prep the day before is grim. But the actual procedure and recovery was fine. I was sedated, possibly GA. It's nice knowing I don't have cancer or inflamatory bowel disease, just IBS.

Don't cancel it.

Nearly 2 years ago after 5 days in hospital with numerous CT scans, X Rays & Ultrasounds a colonoscopy diagnosed a stage 4 tumour in my bowel.
It was not a pleasing experience but I had stage 4 bowel cancer and had not known that the other symptoms I was experiencing - weight loss, loss of breath, unpredictable bowels, pain - were all bowel cancer symptoms

Please have one

garlicbrain Mon 04-Mar-13 11:02:32

I had one and LOVED it! Yes, I know that's weird. They gave me the option of 'sedation', which turned out to be intravenous valium grin I then spend a fascinating half hour giggling as I watched my own insides on TV, had a nice snooze and went home with a 10-year guarantee against cancer! The guy removed a few polyps with a dinky little wire noose thing (I was watching), hence the guarantee. Go for it!

lockets Mon 04-Mar-13 11:02:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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