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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?

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.

PersonalClown Mon 04-Mar-13 12:22:55

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

5madthings - this link has some useful info

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.

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