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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?

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

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

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

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!

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!

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

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

have your tried going gluten free?

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

look at food intollerences also.

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.

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

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.

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.

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 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).

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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

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

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.

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

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

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

Can diverticulitis be hereditary?

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.

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.

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