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


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.

TheDuchessOfEarl Mon 04-Mar-13 11:03:20

I'm booked in for one next week as I have to have them every 5 years. Whilst it's not a barrel of laughs, as pp said, the bowel prep is vile.

In your situation, I would be inclined to speak to my gp to gauge their opinion on whether or not this procedure is necessary. No procedure is without risk & I would be concerned that this was being advised simply to get more money from you.

But really, they're not so bad.

SirBoobAlot Mon 04-Mar-13 11:04:34

Please do it. The small risks involved, and the fact it's not a particularly pleasant thought, is nothing in the matter of things.

throckenholt Mon 04-Mar-13 11:07:27

Would it be worse than undetected cancer ?

I would go for it - expect it not to be fun - but hopefully worth it in the big scheme of things.

And then treat yourself to something nice afterwards smile

pigletmania Mon 04-Mar-13 11:07:28

You have a history of bowel cancer tat is enough to have one , do it. The rsks are minimal, te ultimate price you pay is with your life

DPotter Mon 04-Mar-13 11:08:12

Please don't cancel. I had a colonoscopy a couple of years ago and it wasn't horrendous at all - not pleasant but certainly not horrendous.

With IBS there is a distinct possibility of developing Bowel cancer - so it would be a reasonable to have regular checks so that any sinister changes can be detected and treated early.

If you're not happy with the consultant you have meet, ask for a second opinion. It's important for you to develop a good relationship with the consultant so you feel comfortable and can trust his/her advise

garlicbrain Mon 04-Mar-13 11:08:48

Oh, I've just seen other people's stories about the prep. Mine wasn't bad at all <smug> I had to eat only white food for 3 days, then take a hefty laxative the evening before. It was OK, I was starving on the day but that was all. And I had an unusually flat stomach ...

whoneedssleepanyway Mon 04-Mar-13 11:09:05


I have had 2, they aren't a particularly enjoyable experience but the worst part as other posters have said is the preparation. I did experience some cramping the day afterwards.

I would say the potential downside of not having it and something serious going undiagnosed far far outweighhs the unpleasant aspects of this procedure.

Good luck.

whoneedssleepanyway Mon 04-Mar-13 11:09:47

If you want some light relief search for Billy Connolly colonoscopy on you tube it will make you laugh.

WellTravelledPrawn Mon 04-Mar-13 11:12:45

I have Crohn's and put off having my second colonoscopy for about 3 years (10 years after my first one) as I was just like you and was dreading the indignity, discomfort and inconvenience. Mostly though, I hated being under sedation.

I finally bit the bullet and had it done last year, with no sedation, just gas and air. The colonoscopist was excellent and gave me a guided tour of my insides which was fascinating. No pain (he let me know when he was going round a corner and I just took a big dose of G and A) and I went home about 15 minutes afterwards.

Although there are (of course) risks, these are not what was putting me off, I was just scared. In the end, like most of these things, it was fine and I felt really proud of myself!

To be honest, the worst part was the NHS toast afterwards.

garlicbrain Mon 04-Mar-13 11:12:48

Oh, auntmargaret, how sad. I'm sorry.

CelticPromise Mon 04-Mar-13 11:18:17

Please have it done. My dear mum died of bowel cancer last year. They found it too late to cure it. She only had 18 months after diagnosis. If she had had an early colonoscopy she might still be with us.

Dawndonna Mon 04-Mar-13 11:21:02

I had one in January to check for ulcerative colitis or something else. Turned out to be colitis, and had two polyps removed. I did it with just gas and air and it was fine. Uncomfortable, but not agonising, the gas and air was more for my fear, I'll do it next time without because I know what to expect.

wreckedone Mon 04-Mar-13 11:22:25

Hubby has Crohn's and has colonoscopy every 2 years-not that bad and worth it for peace of mind. Perf's are very rare in fit healthy young people, and only 1 in 100 in older people with thinner tissues and less gut motility

RobotLover68 Mon 04-Mar-13 11:22:42

bowel cancer survivor here - diagnosed at 37 - I've had countless colonoscopies and no they're not nice but I am thankful every day I went for that first one - oh and I've never been offered sedation or even gas and air envy

everlong Mon 04-Mar-13 11:37:50

Yabu to cancel, yes.

This is your life you could be saving by having it.

What are you scared of?

LadyApricot Mon 04-Mar-13 11:44:52

Thank you so so much everyone, after reading this i have decided to go for it. (And this morning I was going to cancel!)
I will think of you all!

CelticPromise Mon 04-Mar-13 11:46:32

Good for you LadyApricot. Hope it's not too horrid and you get the all clear.

LadyApricot Mon 04-Mar-13 11:50:05

Do the laxatives still have an effect on the morning of the procedure?
It's a long drive to the hospital and I don't fancy that with laxatives in my system!
I don't think it would be about money as the consultant is doing it for free (friend of the family) but I do still wonder of its entirely necessary.. If it was something serious I'm sure my symptoms would've changed after 6?years?
Here I go trying to talk myself out of it again..

everlong Mon 04-Mar-13 11:50:14

Ace smile

bingodiva Mon 04-Mar-13 11:53:47

ive had 3 now, none of them have been that bad, the prep they give you is the worst bit esepcially at the beginning, also tastes foul - having a tube up your arse is the easy bit.

ive had 3 because of IBS and would rather they ensured nothing changed inside me than guess whats going on, the only sure way to know is for them to see.

MmeThenardier Mon 04-Mar-13 11:58:15

Why don't u get a second opinion? Could he be doing it because you are a friend?!

MrsTittleMouse Mon 04-Mar-13 12:04:16

Glad to hear you changed your mind. smile

I had one, and tried to stay awake, but I was drugged up to my eyeballs and drifted off into happy woosiness. grin

LadyApricot Mon 04-Mar-13 12:05:35

Well my iron levels are always low so he wanted to rule that out but yes, if it was the nhs they might not have thought it was necessary. I'm not sure if part of ibs diagnosis is a colonoscopy.
I've had tests for everything else to rule out chrons etc

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 04-Mar-13 12:06:11

Play safe and sit yourself on top of an old blanket if need be, take a change of dark trousers. You can do this.

I know someone who had this, he is very squeamish and they took great care of him and he found himself watching the images from the camera - like something out of the Incredible Journey or whatever that film was where they shrink scientists and have them go into someone's bloodstream, (fuzzy over fact vs fiction but you get my drift).

MrsTwgtwf Mon 04-Mar-13 12:10:14

Could I ask if a flexi sigmoidoscopy (sp?) as mentioned above is an alternative? Or if there are other alternatives?

5madthings Mon 04-Mar-13 12:12:21

Can I ask how you get one, my dp's father died of bowel cancer,his go told him he must just have piles for months and once they found out what it actually was it was too late sad he was in his early fifties when he died.

Does this family history mean dp has a higher risk? He does occasionally get upset tummy for no reason, fairly frequently actually, he us never I'll with it but has a few trips to the loo iykwim?

If he went to the gpwould they refer him due to family history? He is 36 BTW.

MerryMingeWhingesAgain Mon 04-Mar-13 12:13:35

It depends what they are hoping to rule out. I had suspected IBS, so a colonoscopy wasn't necessary. If an inflammatory bowel condition or cancer needs to be ruled out, they need to look at more of the bowel, a flexi sig only looks at the very lower part but the colonscopy goes up and around more corners basically.

That's why they tend to offer sedation/pain relief as it is more uncomfortable.

MerryMingeWhingesAgain Mon 04-Mar-13 12:14:49

5madthings - there can be a tendency to develop it running in families. It would be a good idea for him to mention his symptoms to the GP as they may want to offer some screening.

5madthings Mon 04-Mar-13 12:16:47

Right I shall get on his case to make an app! He very rarely goes to the go, is twice in 15yrs! But I will tell him he should go!

5madthings Mon 04-Mar-13 12:18:11

He is otherwise fit and healthy but he does get these upset tummies for no reason.

olgaga Mon 04-Mar-13 12:22:22

Have it, it's an easy and comparatively safe procedure, honestly!

It could save your life.

5Mads- My DP is seen for a colonoscopy every 2 years as my FIL is in remission from bowel cancer for the 4th time.

Dp has no symptoms or anything but his doctor says that sometimes you just don't get any.
He is now on the waiting list for genetic testing to see if he carries the cancer gene.

5madthings Mon 04-Mar-13 12:27:52

Right I willdef get him to the go, no one mentioned to him or his sister that they should get checked. Is there a policy/nice guidelines on this?

5madthings Mon 04-Mar-13 12:30:08

Dp's dad died 15 yes ago when do was 21 and it was never mentioned. They did great the bowel cancer and he had a colostomy bag and things seemed OK but then he got back pain and they found it had spread and there was nothing they could do sad

MerryMingeWhingesAgain Mon 04-Mar-13 12:43:02
BinksToEnlightenment Mon 04-Mar-13 12:47:45

Actually, since you asked for opinions, I wouldn't go.

If he's saying only 50% of doctors would think it's medically necessary, I would choose to leave it. If you've been ill for six years without getting any worse, they probably won't find anything helpful.

I've been through something similar to that and it was just awful. Then to find out it was pointless was even worse.

That's just what I would do though. I appreciate that it is not the majority opinion.

5madthings Mon 04-Mar-13 12:53:47

Thanks merry smile

Dottiespots Mon 04-Mar-13 12:53:48

IBS does not lead to bowel cancer. IBS is generally caused by stress. Any stress makes your IBS worse and what you need to do is learn how to reduce the stress in your life and learn what foods trigger your IBS. After any stressful event you will find that within a couple of days you will have IBS symptoms. I have found that a diet low in carbs greatly reduces IBS symptoms but you do need to help yourself to understand why you are getting so stressed in life and learn techniques to deal with it. Meditation, relaxation, exercise and cutting out wheat and too much fibre. Even if you do go ahead and have this proceedure you still need to deal with your IBS. Its very common and has got worse in the last 20 years.

2rebecca Mon 04-Mar-13 12:55:46

If your symptoms were bad enough that you have had to leave your job and not go out and decided to pay for a private consultant then why not go for it? It was pointless seeing the doc if you don't follow their advice.
It's unlikely to be cancer with unchanging symptoms but they may find inflammatory bowel disease which can be treated with medication.

StillSeekingSpike Mon 04-Mar-13 12:57:42

Any medical procedure that finds nothing is NOT pointless angry. In fact, it's bloody good news.
My mother died of (undiagnosed) bowel cancer at the age of 45. That was much worse than any test. I have had a colonoscopy every 2 years since then (I also have autoimmune problems)- it's not that great but I'm so glad each time I get an all clear.

BinksToEnlightenment Mon 04-Mar-13 13:15:39

Actually mine was pointless. Not that I should need to explain all the details of it to you and how it differs entirely from your experience. I'm sorry that you lost your mother, but I did explain that the procedure I had was only similar.

LadyApricot Mon 04-Mar-13 14:56:44

Just found out its not just a colonoscopy but a gastroscopy too.
I am going to have to ask for a general anaesthetic - it's the only way I'm going to do all this. I hope you are able to request a general?
By the I did not pay for pvt dr, i could never afford it. I managed to get a free consultation as he's a family friend. He has reffered me to an nhs hospital though.

allthatglittersisnotgold Mon 04-Mar-13 15:27:35

Please keep apt. I've had one without sedation. Was honestly fine. The hunger the day before is worse! Also got an internal tour. Was vair interesting! I guess the procedure pushes a lot of air around as spent the whole afternoon farting. grin

LadyApricot Mon 04-Mar-13 16:06:11

Haha! I've heard the rumbles from the recovery ward are heard from miles away!

piprabbit Mon 04-Mar-13 16:12:28

I've had tubes up my bum and down my throat (not the same tube obvs, or at the same time) but found both lots of sedation so effective that it might as well have been a GA for all I was aware of what was happening.
I just had my sedation and woke up some time later feeling windy and farty.

Good luck - you can do this.

MerryMingeWhingesAgain Mon 04-Mar-13 16:17:52

Getting both ends over and done with is a good way to get stuff ruled out in one trip though.

Honestly, you are really unlikely to have a GA, some degree of being able to cooperate is usually needed but the sedation really works and it's a bit like GHB in causing massive amnesia after the event.

theodorakisses Mon 04-Mar-13 16:20:59

I used to poo myself regularly, had to stop the car and find a bush, had a colo, found out I had diverticulitis and after 15 years of incontinence, am now fine. sadly I had to leave the Uk and access private medicine before I found that it wasn't a condition I had to live with, despite having spent 10 years as an endoscopy nurse in the UK and having hid my incontinence from them very effectively.

LadyApricot Mon 04-Mar-13 16:34:20

Can diverticulitis be hereditary?

LadyApricot Mon 04-Mar-13 16:35:14

All my family have had this too. We're an unfortunate bunch!

HazeltheMcWitch Mon 04-Mar-13 17:25:23

Glad you've decided to go. I've had a couple of both also (tube up and tube down!) - and whilst it might not be the best day of your life, it is honestly not that bad.

A few things to note:
* if you've ever wondered about colonic irrigation, wonder no more! You'll be getting a thorough clean out for free.
* moist wipes by the loo. You may thank me now.
* I was fine on the way in. You know pretty definitively when you're empty. Just follow the instructions for the prep you get given and you wont go wrong. Don't plan to leave the house for the duration of the prep, though, and designate one loo as yours.
* You may have trapped wind after, even though you'll release a fair bit too very loudly. Peppermint tea can help with the discomfort here.

HazeltheMcWitch Mon 04-Mar-13 17:26:04

I was fine on the way in I meant on the journey in!!

Grinkly Mon 04-Mar-13 17:35:38

I was told I had ibs last month, it is improved now but I was v stressed (not visibly) as I was having to do something which I didn' want to do, so imo had repressed anger.

Is there anything you might have to 'deal with' from your life or past?

indyandlara Mon 04-Mar-13 18:22:01

YABU to cancel. My Mum died of bowel cancer aged 54. By the time it was found she only had 9 months left to live. I have had one and while its not how you'd chose to spend a day it's fine. I'd take the day before clean out and procedure over the absolute horror of end stage bowel cancer any day.

FarBetterNow Mon 04-Mar-13 19:26:30

My Mum had one when she was 84 and managed fine.
I was more upset about it than her.
The nurses were excellent and very respectful.

PeachyPossum Mon 04-Mar-13 19:53:41

Hi, I've had several and they were fine, I did them without sedation. I ave Crohns, and had several polyps removed too. I initially had a barium enema which missed all of these things! I have also had the camera down the throat, again no sedation. This took about 3 minutes at most, wasn't great but was quick.

I quite enjoyed watching my insides on the screen tbh.

Zingy123 Mon 04-Mar-13 20:59:17

I have had two for Crohns disease. I was very traumatised the second time. I don't think the sedation worked. I would have one again if I had to.

My nan has just had colonoscopy and the one down her throat and she is 90. They found cancer in her colon and have removed it.

BreatheandFlyAway Mon 04-Mar-13 21:43:27

Another one here who has had several. All fine. I didn't like the prep much but the actual procedure was ok because of excellent drugs grin (indeed, the second time, I'm ashamed to say I slightly looked forward to it because of the intravenous valium blush ) and the bizarrely interesting tour of one's own guts, as others have said. Fear not smile

chocoluvva Tue 05-Mar-13 14:23:11

I had one to rule out bowel cancer as my mum died of bowel cancer. The consultant was pretty sure I had IBS, but to be on the safe side..... The colonoscopy revealed a huge tumour. I had stage 3 colorectal cancer with lymph node involvement aged 43. The colonoscopy turned out to be in the nick of time (probably/hopefully).

chocoluvva Tue 05-Mar-13 14:27:05

It's by far the best way to see inside your bowel. No procedure is entirely risk free - eg, CT scans require an injection of dye which is ocassionally troublesome for the patient.

chocoluvva Tue 05-Mar-13 16:18:33

Go and see a nutritionist who specialises in digestive disorders too. The institute of optimum nutrition are the business. (oops - no pun intended). S/he will recommend useful supplements as well as offering you dietary advice.

digerd Tue 05-Mar-13 16:32:03

Our neighbour in his his 40s died from bowek cancer last August. GP said it was IBS. He was never sent for a colonoscopy until too late.

However, it does depend where it is. A friend of mine had symptoms but the colonoscopy and Gastric endoscopy failed to find it, as the pipes of both were just not long enough - in those days- to reach the whole length.
She had a Barium Meal X-ray, and it was found then.

kennyp Tue 05-Mar-13 17:28:43

I love the prep day. Glued to the toilet with ipad or similar and then an empty colon. Colonics are so bad for you, the only way to clean out is down, not up.

Would definitely advise getting it done. I was horrendously nervous before mine but so pleased i had it done. Good luck. smile

BlueyDragon Tue 05-Mar-13 17:42:01

The sedation will see you through - honestly, I barely remember my colonoscopy apart from the tattoo the consultant put on the polyps he found (one of which turned out to be stage 3 cancer). IME, the pre-procedure clear out is the worst bit and even that's ok really. Post-procedure be aware that you may leak a bit and be quite windy, which can cause referred pain in the shoulders. But it doesn't last very long and a bit of indignity might just save your life.

I'm around for pre-procedure hand holding if you need it.

Yfronts Tue 05-Mar-13 18:51:35

look at food intollerences also.

Yfronts Tue 05-Mar-13 18:52:51

have your tried going gluten free?

theodorakisses Wed 06-Mar-13 14:31:38

The prep day for me was similar to a normal day. Midazolam, the drug they use has an amnesiac effect, when I was an endoscopy nurse people used to wake up and ask me when they were going in to have it done. If you have been referred, please go. In the 5 years I worked there we almost always could tell people why they were having the symptoms and offer a solution. the 1 or 2% who were not so lucky could have their lives, in most cases, saved by immediate treatment but it was so rare to experience that, I really can reassure you that the majority of people had nothing to worry about and if there. If you had a polyp for example, it can easily be removed. A polyp, however, if unpedunculated, has the potential to develop into a tumor. It is a brave thing to do but the right thing to do

LadyApricot Wed 06-Mar-13 14:50:38

Wow there are a lot of moving stories from you all and it just goes to show how important it is to take care of your health and take what's offered.
I am on the waiting list for a dietician which I'm sure will help.
I phoned the hospital and am waiting to be reffered to a more local hospital which helps- I am also still hoping they'll knock me out for it!

moonbells Wed 06-Mar-13 15:05:38

I went for one after post-C-section abdominal changes went on for a little too long for comfort, with a family history of polyps in my DF.

You will end up hating lemon-flavoured drinks for a while. By the time you get to the end of your prescribed amount, you are forcing it down holding your nose...

Whatever you do, DON'T leave the vicinity of a bathroom in the prep stage!

I remember my whole exam, guess I'm one of the people whose memories don't shut down with sedatives. But I was watching the screen all the time - amazing.

I have since read that if you have a clear colonoscopy, you are unlikely to get colon cancer in the subsequent 15-20 years, as it grows so slowly to begin with.

Glad you've decided to go!

theodorakisses Wed 06-Mar-13 15:53:40

It is very unlikely that you will remember unless you are an alcoholic, on a mega dose of tri cyclic anti depressant type medicines or just a few unlucky ones. You have a better chance of winning the lottery than remembering it, having recently given birth is an exception I believe

chocoluvva Wed 06-Mar-13 16:15:24

I wouldn't go that far theodora. I think different hospitals use different drugs.

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