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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?

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?

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