Colonoscopy without sedation?

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king1234
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Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 491
   Posted 8/5/2008 12:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi guys, I have a scope planned this Friday to find out why I have had constant left sided pain for the past 2 months. I had an endoscopy last yr without sedation, I gagged a lot-it was uncomfortable but not unbearable. It only lasted 5 min. I do not want sedation for the other scope, I do not like drugs and want to be productive later. I think the colonoscopy takes 15 minutes?
 
Am I crazy to do the colonoscopy wout sedation? I would think the endo would be worse but have heard otherwise. Can you offer me feedback? I know it wont be comfortable but will it be painful?
Thanks
----------------------------------------------------------------------
33 yr old female
 
GERD dx March 2007
Migraines with Aura
Currently no diagnosis for:  migratory joint/bone pain, feet buzzing, fatigue and dizzy spells, bumps and indents on nails.
Also constant left sided pain ( 2 inches left of belly button) GI thinks possible Colitis, getting colonoscopy on 8-8
 


MikeB
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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1169
   Posted 8/5/2008 12:39 PM (GMT -7)   
The discomfort from a routine colonoscopy is very overrated.  I have had five done with no sedation and the worst discomfort in any of them was about like a gas pain. There is a feeling fo fullness at times and when the scope loops (presses against the side of the colon at the curves) a visceral discomfort I would rate no higher than a 3 on a 1-10 scale. Since the colon wall has no senspry nerves, biopsies or polyp removals are totally painless. Theer have been some clinical studies done on this -- in one as I recall a fairly alrge samlpling of 75 or so adults who volunteered to undergo scopes with no sedation reported after that almost all would do it again and found it not that unpleasant. Plus you can watch.

RK
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Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 153
   Posted 8/5/2008 12:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Everyone is different and can tolerate pain or discomfort differently. For a lot of Crohnnies, the disease causes strictures or inflamation in places that makes it difficult for the scope to pass through; thereby causing pain or discomfort. For others, the worst part is the air that is pumped in so that the doc can see what's going on. I personally chose to be sedated during my last colonoscopy because the first time I had the procedure, I was given something just to calm me down a bit and the experience was very painful. Second time was also very painful. By the third time, I demanded to be sedated completely. But I also know people who have had the procedure done without anything at all. There is really no way to know how it will be for you. Wishing you all the best and Good luck!
32-year-old female diagnosed with CD in 2001.
Currently taking Pentasa 1g x 4 times daily. Started Remicade July 2008.


MikeB
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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1169
   Posted 8/5/2008 12:47 PM (GMT -7)   
I would agree with RK. If you have widespread inflammation and/or stricturing or previous surgeries, I am sure the passage of the scope would cause more pain. However, for a an otherwise healthy person with no major colonic pathology, it is just not the awful excruciating experience that some expect. My own GI has his periodic screening scopes done without sedation by a colleague and says the same . . . that a lot more people could do it if they tried it. One alternative is to have them go ahead and insert the IV with no drugs and if you get into difficulty with more discomfort than expected, they can always go ahead and give yuo the sedation at any time.

king1234
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 491
   Posted 8/5/2008 1:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks guys. I have had no prior surgery but do have constant side pain. I think I will give it a whirl by doing it "sober". I am more nervous about what they will find like if its cancer or something. But thats why I am getting it done!

How long does it last roughly?
----------------------------------------------------------------------
33 yr old female
 
GERD dx March 2007
Migraines with Aura
Currently no diagnosis for:  migratory joint/bone pain, feet buzzing, fatigue and dizzy spells, bumps and indents on nails.
Also constant left sided pain ( 2 inches left of belly button) GI thinks possible Colitis, getting colonoscopy on 8-8
 


FitzyK23
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 8/5/2008 1:17 PM (GMT -7)   
I knew someone on our board could help you!
26 Year old married female law student (last year!!). Diagnosed w/ CD 4 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD. I am sort of lactose intollerant too but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid. For crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn. I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13. I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium. Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night. I also take a birth control pill to allow some fun in my life.


MikeB
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1169
   Posted 8/5/2008 1:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Should only take about 15-20 from insertion to removal. Be sure they angle the monitor so you can watch. And I would not worry much about cancer at your age and with no other signs like bleeding.

closure
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 471
   Posted 8/5/2008 2:27 PM (GMT -7)   
I posted about my first colonoscopy last week, it's probably a few pages back now. They gave me the sedation...over double what they give normal people because it just wasn't working on me. Even after they gave me the extra drugs I was still fully awake for the procedure. I watched them remove one polyp and 7 or so biopsies on various parts of my intestines. I didn't feel them remove anything and I knew when it was going to happen so I mean I watched them do it, saw the blood from the polyp removal, and still didn't feel it. I didn't watch the clock so I don't know how long it took them, but it wasn't long at all. If you're calm it will probably go easier for you too. If you do decide to be awake and you're a little nervous or whatever which is completely normal I would just talk them during the procedure asking what they're doing and what not. Or just at the beginning ask them to explain what they're doing as they do it so you know what's going on. I know that helped me be more relaxed. I honestly think I was talking too much lol. I didn't even really have the gas pains either...just some pressure here and there. It all depends on your doc and your pain tolerance. Like I said in my post the severe cramps I got the night before from the ducolax they made me take were way worse than anything I felt during the procedure.

I too was worried about cancer because of all the bleeding I would have from time to time, but we're both pretty young so the odds are in our favor. They couldn't find the reason for my bleeding unfortunately, he thinks it healed before they could get in there since it took them a month from the time of my worst bleeding. If it comes back that bad I'll probably have to have it done again. I don't have my test results yet, but will definitely be updating the board when I find anything out.

Whoever suggested getting the IV just in case gave good advice. Honestly though I think that by the time you felt pain and then they got to the IV to get you the meds you'd be just about done anyway. I don't know if I'll attempt the sedation if I have another one because it was just a bunch of drugs that didn't work anyway. I got tired when I got home, but obviously that did nothing for my procedure lol. The endoscopy they said I might have to have is another story. I'm terrified of that thing! I've never done it and don't want to be awake for it or at least not remember it so hopefully the drugs will work if I have to have that done.
27 female
 
Bipolar, panic disorder, PTSD, PCOS, hashimoto's disease/hypothyroidism, acid reflux, and in the process of being diagnosed with either crohns, colitis, or even lupus...who knows really! the docs sure don't lol. Now possibly even celiacs disease!Lots of tests coming up so hopefully I'll know more soon. Too many meds to list!


bentwistle
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 330
   Posted 8/5/2008 3:15 PM (GMT -7)   
I've had both sedation and without, and I prefer without. I've had horrible side-effects from the sedation (severe vomiting) and I prefer not to have to be sick for an hour afterwards. The times without were neat as I watched on the monitor and was facinated and asked lots of questions. My doctor's cool though, so I think that helps.
To each his own though,

Bev

Julie1014
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 1245
   Posted 8/5/2008 3:37 PM (GMT -7)   
I have had all of my colonoscopies done without sedation, because I don't tolerate sedation well. I have a stricture, so the colo is certainly no "picinic," but I survive every time, lol! I consider it a "tolerable pain." It lasts about 15 minutes. Also, ask your GI to use a pediatric scope. It's smaller but does the job. Good luck to you!
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (Pancolitis) 10/25/05
New Diagnosis of Crohn's March 2006
Asacol 3 pills three times a day
Remicade 10mg/kg every 4 weeks
Prednisone 12mg a day
Imuran 75mg
Miralax as needed, Cortisone enemas as needed
Prevacid 30mg
Paxil 40mg daily (for Panic disorder)
Xanax .5mg as needed (for anxiety attacks)
 
 
 
 
 


king1234
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 491
   Posted 8/5/2008 3:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks guys, this is helpful. I figure if I did the endo without it I could do the other end without it! I love my doctor, he is very good about easing my mind.

Closure-- I read your signature. I think we may have wrote each other before ( I have posted so many times I am losing track!) But I noticed possible lupus? Do you mind explaining your symptoms? The reason I ask is I am in search of my mystery pains.... I have had a dull left sided pain for 2 months now, it gets sharp once and awhile and go so sharp I could not move and ended up in the ER-30 min later I was fine. I had this same dull pain a yr ago and same very sharp pain a few times over the past 5 yrs. I have always ignored it until now (since the dull pain wont go away). I have gas when I feel like I need a BM and also vary from constipation to D. Anyway, my real mystery is I have traveling joint pain, it stabs different areas of my body or will linger in different areas. Also my feet buzz from time to time, muscles are now twitching and my joints are cracking a TON. I too was tested for lupus and everything else under the sun. I am thinking this could ALL be connected to my side pain.

Just curious if your concerns are similiar....sorry if I do not remember if we have written before!
----------------------------------------------------------------------
33 yr old female
 
GERD dx March 2007
Migraines with Aura
Currently no diagnosis for:  migratory joint/bone pain, feet buzzing, fatigue and dizzy spells, bumps and indents on nails.
Also constant left sided pain ( 2 inches left of belly button) GI thinks possible Colitis, getting colonoscopy on 8-8
 


MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 8/5/2008 4:06 PM (GMT -7)   
I personally came up out of sadation and grab the doc, because it hurt so bad, but it hit and busted some of my sores.
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease
We will find a way, or make one.-Hannibal (crossing the Alps in the 15th Century on war elephants) 
Make sure your suffering has meaning...-?
All suggestions/options/opinions are caveated with please consult with your local health care provider...


soppendeuff
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 8/5/2008 4:21 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't know...my last colonoscopy I tried to go with sedation rather than anesthesia, but they knocked me out with anesthesia because of all the screaming (I'm quite the stoic, tough it out non-screamer in my non-colonoscopy life).

I'd just be prepared to ask for help if you need it rather than suffer what can be terrible pain...varies by individual.

gachrons
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4527
   Posted 8/5/2008 4:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi I wouldn't have it done awake personally. lol gail
Hallarious woman over 50 ,CD ,IBS 27 years--resection,fistula's,obstructions,and still alive.lol gail


Jen77
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2691
   Posted 8/5/2008 5:34 PM (GMT -7)   
I look at it this way. Do we get pains from having inflammation in our guts? Do we have pain from diarrhea? Even gas gives us pain. Some people take strong pain medications to control their Crohn's pains. So I guess I don't see how pumping air up there, and then shoving a scope wouldn't have pain?
 
So no, I would not do it without sedation. Infact I think we should be put completely under, since I have woke up during the middle of one and remember being quite in pain. They had to hurry up and knock me out again.
~Jennifer
 
Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease 2/06 after sever GI bleed. Has been suffering since 1998. History of rectal fistula and gallbladder removal. Currently taking Prednisone: tapering down again at: 6mg now, Asacol, Questran, Toprol XL (for high blood pressure).


indigosunrise
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 497
   Posted 8/5/2008 5:53 PM (GMT -7)   
That is a really good point, Jen. If we don't have pain sensors there, then how come gas, diarrhea and all that can be so painful?

I don't know...I can handle some kinds of pain but I don't know if I could just lay there and take that. I think I would rather be drugged and be oblivious to what is going on.

Bane
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 589
   Posted 8/5/2008 10:02 PM (GMT -7)   
i woke up mid-scope once. it all seems like a dream now, but it felt like i was stuffed full of gas. for me, being full of gas is extremely painful.
20, Male, diagnosed over Christmas Break of my Junior year in High School. BEST CHRISTMAS EVAR LOL

(not really)


potatoqwn
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 355
   Posted 8/5/2008 10:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Give me drugs, please... Oh, and keep them coming until you are all done. Seriously though I cannot imagine doing the whole scope without some sedation. My first one was so very, very painful that I was crying from the pain and this was with sedation. They gave me more, but it was pretty bad and my intestines were in severly bad shape. I usually fall asleep for a few minutes then wake up and watch the whole thing with only mild discomfort. But that is with drugs.

It kind of reminds me of having kids. The first child I refused pain meds. For my second child, I scheduled the epidural during my 4th month prenatal visit.

closure
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 471
   Posted 8/5/2008 11:40 PM (GMT -7)   
hey king...I have my email address added on my profile. we can chat through there if you want. I just don't want to take over your thread lol. just real quick though a few years ago I had blood testing for lupus and nothing showed up. I was told it can hide sometimes and doesn't show up all the time. my mom has lupus and so did an aunt of mine. I have one autoimmune disease and I hear once you have one you're more likely to have more. like I said though feel free to email me and we can chat more. *hugs*
27 female
 
Bipolar, panic disorder, PTSD, PCOS, hashimoto's disease/hypothyroidism, acid reflux, and in the process of being diagnosed with either crohns, colitis, or even lupus...who knows really! the docs sure don't lol. Now possibly even celiacs disease!Lots of tests coming up so hopefully I'll know more soon. Too many meds to list!


westat
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 167
   Posted 8/6/2008 5:21 AM (GMT -7)   
personally I take the most sedation they can give me without going to the OR. My colonoscopies are VERY painful!! My intestines go into great spasms during a colonoscopy!! And I gave birth to 2 children without any drugs so can handle pain.....but I will take everything they will give me plus a pedi scope for this. I envy the people that have them with no pain.

Everyone is different.
Dx with Crohn's in 1997 after 5 years of worsening symptoms.
Resection a few months after dx after 1 month on TPN and IV steroids.
Also have severe asthma.

Tried: Pentasa, Cholestyramine

Presently taking: 3.2 grams Asacol, 150 Imuran (just started June 08), back to 10mg predisone, probiotics. For asthma I take Advair 500, singulair, arieus


worsenow!!!
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 208
   Posted 8/6/2008 6:15 AM (GMT -7)   
for my scopes they injected me with valium cause i was scared, valium to calm me down, then i watched on the tv what they were doing in my insides, yes it was uncomfy, sore at times, but i was awake, little did i realise that when it was over i tried to sit up thinking that the valium had no effect, yeh right, went dizzy and light headed, but there was pain i was only calmed for it. thnakfully, otherwise what would i have been like without, i was already a blubbering wreck.

extreme constipation from birth
fainting spells aged 15, then diagnosed I.B.S
anal fissures, haemorrhoids internal and external
mucous and bleeding
sigmoidoscopies, endoscpies, scans, x-rays, bloods
h-pylori aged 24-26
more tests, diagnosed severe slow transit, marker tests took 3-4 weeks to come away
large colon removed in 2007, aged 27( surgeon said removed 10ft) no colostomy
still in severe pain, awaiting dietician appt, now lots of food intoleraces
 
meds- ibuprofen, fluoxetine, amitriptyline,and omeprazole


yogaprof
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1665
   Posted 8/6/2008 7:23 AM (GMT -7)   
I have a HORRIBLE reaction to the meds from the scope: barfing all day, horrible headache. So I will not do it again unless they agree to let me do it awake. my GI so far doesn't agree--so no scope for me :)
I would love to hear how it goes for you. keep us posted!
49 y/o woman.  Diagnosed 4/06 after colonscopy, SBFT, CT-scan all showed crohns. 3 months later, after pred and remicade, all tests showed no crohns. December '06 had adhesions cut through a laparoscopy. Now taking Glycolax, Ultra Fiber Plus, Florastor, and DHEA. Have become gluten-free diet per naturopath's tests.


CrohnieToo
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 9448
   Posted 8/6/2008 7:45 AM (GMT -7)   
I've had an upper endoscopy w/and w/o "sedation". I prefer w/o so I can watch the monitor and see for myself - but - I have a strong gag reflex and the gagging does make the upper scope MUCH WORSE than the lower scope w/o sedation. The gagging can bring tears to my eyes. No pain but boy I gag starting in my toes!!! Retching actually!

I'm always so dry that they can't start the IVs soon enough to suit me! BUT - w/o the sedation, just the fluids. I'm fortunate to have a great gastro when it comes to doing scopes. She is slicker than snot on a door knob w/that scope.

Go to PubMed and check out these two abstracts:

Endoscopy 2002 Jun;34(6):435-40

Patient pain during colonoscopy: an analysis using real-time magnetic endoscope imaging.

Shah SG, Brooker JC, Thapar C, Williams CB, Saunders BP.
Wolfson Unit for Endoscopy, St. Mark's Hospital, Harrow, London, United Kingdom.

PMID: 12048623 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
---------------------------------
Gastrointest Endosc 1996 Feb;43(2 Pt 1):124-6

Why is colonoscopy more difficult in women?

Saunders BP, Fukumoto M, Halligan S, Jobling C, Moussa ME, Bartram CI, Williams CB.
Department of Endoscopy, St. Mark's Hospital, London, England.

PMID: 8635705 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
-----------------------------------

The pain during colonoscopy is caused by the over enthusiastic induction of air stretching the walls of the intestine like a balloon and/or by the looping of the scope shaft back onto itself which also stretches the wall of the intestine. The interior of the colon doesn't have nerves to sense pain, you feel NOTHING when they take a biopsy or remove a polyp. But stretch the wall of the colon and yeah, you feel discomfort to pain depending on how much distention. Most gastros don't want to take the extra time necessary to do a scope w/o sedation. (And all conscious sedation is in an amnesiac - you FEEL any pain, you just don't remember it - I RESENT that!). Try threading a small string thru a straw. Not much different than advancing the colonoscope. It takes more time to use less air and to withdraw the scope a short way to straighten it and then proceed until the next time the shaft loops back on itself.

The ONLY colonoscopies that I had discomfort in the abdomen afterwards were the two done w/sedation. Both times it was the bruised like feeling of having been kicked in the stomach for 1-2 days.

A caring, considerate gastro will respect your wishes to have your colonscopy w/o sedation. He/she will suggest that you allow the IV set just in case and for fluids to be administered, maybe even suggest a little demerol or fentanyl for comfort (analgesiacs, NOT amnesiacs). He/she will use air sparingly, advance the scope carefully, w/draw it a bit when it loops, IF you do change your mind and ask for a littel sedation he'll take the time to let the sedation take effect before proceeding any further, including if necessary removing the scope and leaving the room briefly whilst the sedation takes effect. He/she will also be conscientious about removing as much air and fluid as possible when withdrawing the scope and finishing.
Some people are like Slinkies... Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.


closure
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 471
   Posted 8/6/2008 7:52 AM (GMT -7)   
great post CrohnieToo!
27 female
 
Bipolar, panic disorder, PTSD, PCOS, hashimoto's disease/hypothyroidism, acid reflux, and in the process of being diagnosed with either crohns, colitis, or even lupus...who knows really! the docs sure don't lol. Now possibly even celiacs disease!Lots of tests coming up so hopefully I'll know more soon. Too many meds to list!


indigosunrise
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 497
   Posted 8/9/2008 9:30 PM (GMT -7)   
So basically it is the air they use that would cause pain during the procedure?

I noticed after my colonoscopy I had pain under my rib cages, on both sides, for quite some time. I wonder if that could have had something to do with...?
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