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Colonoscopy - what is it like without sedation?

(37 Posts)
user1471949357 Tue 23-Aug-16 12:01:06


I am waiting for my app for a colonoscopy, and getting scared. I don't want sedation, mainly because I don't like the feeling of feeling strange, if that makes sense, I tend to panic if I don't feel my usual self. I'm 52, and very hormonal, still get periods, although I'm 15 days late and feel as if my womb wants to explode! I have suffered from anxiety, but I know now, that this is related to peri menopause.

I am grateful for any advice from someone who has had colonoscopies, and how to prepare mentally for it?

Simmi1 Tue 23-Aug-16 12:15:24

I've had one but sedated. I did think the sedation was great - it just makes you fall asleep then you wake up - no strange feeling at all if that makes sense? I was absolutely fine afterwards and could have driven. The prep for the colonscopy was the worst part but even that wasn't that bad. It will be fine - don't worry flowers

lovechocolate123 Tue 23-Aug-16 15:52:17

I had sedation but was still awake throughout the procedure which was good. The prep wasn't great but not horrendous. It's over in 20 min and they can tell you what they have seen. I had some biopsies taken ( think that is routine) so had to wait a week for results. All came back fine. Don't worry it will be fine!

MillieDalt Tue 23-Aug-16 15:57:42

I wouldn't want to have one without sedation. I have them every year due to a genetic link to bowel cancer. I am always awake during sedation but it doesn't make me feel strange, more sleepy and relaxed. For the Drs it makes you more compliant as it can be a bit embarrassing otherwise. Honestly it will be much better/easier with sedation. I always feel normal afterwards within half an hour too. Personally I always find the run up towards it worse, so I feel for you flowers

Changeasgoodasis Tue 23-Aug-16 15:59:20

You don't have to have sedation but no one can really tell you in advance how you will feel as people vary greatly. You can ask to have the canula in ready to receive meds if you need them and start without if you prefer.

To prepare I'd just say, follow the instructions really well for the prep because the emptier you are, the easier it goes. Otherwise, try not to think of it and don't go Googling it because you'll always find the bad stories that way. Most people who have an uneventful scope don't write, post etc about it.

gonegrey56 Tue 23-Aug-16 16:02:35

I have also had one but with very light sedation (I have a heart condition) - honestly, it was absolutely fine and I had no unpleasant after effects from the sedation or procedure . Quite the worst part was drinking the yucky sickly sweet prep drink - try mixing it with unsweetened lemon juice .
Don't fret , you will be really well looked after and a light sedation will make you less anxious .

Boogers Tue 23-Aug-16 16:04:48

I've had a colonoscopy via sedation but I wasn't asleep or out of it, more just relaxed. I watched everything on the screen and asked to see the polyps that were removed afterwards. Turns out they were pre-cancerous adenomas, but we'll leave that one there.

User, you'll be fine. Sedation is just a scratch on the back of your hand, and it'll be over before you know it. Have you had this procedure before?

sleepachu Tue 23-Aug-16 16:05:53

Not to be a scaremonger but I would push for sedation if I were you. I had it without and it was very unpleasant. I was already in a lot of pain when I had it so that might have been the issue but I ended up really sobbing (my mum was horrified as I tend to understate pain). Also the pain relief I DID have was gas and air which does make you feel weird and to be honest did nada for me. Much better to go to sleep, or at least be a bit out of it for a minute, imo.

woolypigs Tue 23-Aug-16 16:08:29

I have had one without sedation and it was horrific. Painful and I came out of there feeling like I had been violated. I would need to be knocked out I think if I was to ever have another one.

Germgirl Tue 23-Aug-16 16:20:39

I had one without sedation & it was fine. Embarrassing and a bit uncomfortable when the scope went 'round a corner' but perfectly manageable.
The bowel prep beforehand was far worse! Put your toilet paper in the fridge and stock up on soothing pile cream.
I've also had an endoscopy with no sedation. Never again. That was horrible. The colonoscopy was easy in comparison

wfrances Tue 23-Aug-16 16:39:28

i would go with sedation , mine was fine until they had to go around a bend, some guy had to lie right across me pressing down on me to prevent kinkage in scope.

i was never out of it just more relaxed ,i was talking ect

Haudyerwheesht Tue 23-Aug-16 16:42:38

I had one without sedation it's really really really uncomfortable. Huge amount of pressure and I really found its horrible experience but not unbearable.

P1nkP0ppy Tue 23-Aug-16 19:33:29

I've had one without and it was awful, I fainted with the pain and was sick.
The subsequent ones under sedation were absolutely fine, it's fast acting so you don't feel hung-over afterwards.
I'd certainly always opt for sedation in future.

oldbird51 Tue 23-Aug-16 19:38:02

I had one with sedation, but not nearly enough. I am no wimp, butthe pain was horrific, and the sedation kicked in after the procedure, and I slept for almost 12 hrs. if I ever have another, I will ask for the maximum sedation possible.
if it is at all reassuring, lots of other patients came out of the clinic looking absolutely fine, and asking for cups of tea. Maybe I am a wimp.

I have had 2, both without sedation and I was absolutely fine. The prep is worse than the procedure and you get to do the prep at home, with your own loo and a book etc. I'd never have sedation.

helensburgh Tue 23-Aug-16 19:41:06

All v individual. I had one with sedation but I wonder if I had some reaction to it. As I felt v out of control and had to be held down. Remember every last every second of it and had flashbacks for a long time. I then collapsed on my way to the car park!
Had another without and although not pleasant I preferred it

funnysortofsummer Tue 23-Aug-16 19:41:38

I managed without sedation. Not saying you should though. It was uncomfortable. The one down the throat (forget name), I don't think I could ever do again unless sedated.

oldfatandtired1 Tue 23-Aug-16 19:43:17

I've not had a colonoscopy but my 85 year old mum has. As she lives alone she was told she would have to stay overnight if she had sedation which she didn't want to do. Her consultant performed the colonoscopy without sedation (if she was uncomfortable at any time she only had to say and he would stop) and she said it was slightly uncomfortable but fine. I guess everybody's different.

swooosh Tue 23-Aug-16 19:45:29

Hi I work in endoscopy. We give sedation but some people don't want it. Typically if you've not had previous abdominal surgery then your bowel shouldn't be too hard to navigate.

You will get a few areas where you will experience cramping pain. This will pass. It's from the wind that the scope releases to 'open' the bowel up and from going round bends.

Some places offer nitrous oxide gas to breathe like you'd get during labour. Personally I'd try it without sedation if it was me but everyone is different.

Badders123 Tue 23-Aug-16 19:46:06

I had sedation and don't remember a thing!!

Waitingfordolly Tue 23-Aug-16 19:48:05

My mum didn't have sedation and she said it was excruciating. Sorry.

Greydays Tue 23-Aug-16 19:48:47

I had one without sedation and it really was ok, im not squeamish tho and watched it on the screen in front of me, it was relatively painless jjust uncomfortable when going round bends, i would definitely recommend without as they told me being sedated doesnt mean you dont feel things its more to relax you, but with the added things of not being able to drive for so any hours or lwaving hospital straight away, totally agree the prep was far worse, the, disgusting stuff but certainly did the job, good luck whichever you decide x

FoxesSitOnBoxes Tue 23-Aug-16 19:50:41

I had one without sedation. 90% fine but when they got to any sharp bend it really hurt- toe stubbing type pain but internal (very strange) rest of it was uncomfortable but bearable. I'd have sedation next time

Both times I found the staff to be beyond kind. For the prep you need moist toilet tissue. I have done both the high and low volume prep stuff. For the prep you need to plan to be at home with exclusive access to the loo. Get an absorbing book or something good to watch on iPlayer. Plan something nice for afterwards - you will have the flattest tummy you have had in years so dig out that frock that you can never normally wear. You will be hungry when it is over. And farty. Very very farty grin

cariboo Tue 23-Aug-16 19:53:48

I had one with sedation but it didn't work. I screamed, but that was because the doc removed a polyp.

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