Is it safe to have a colonoscopy during a severe flare?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2004
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 7/19/2009 8:01 AM (GMT -7)   

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1202
   Posted 7/19/2009 8:37 AM (GMT -7)   
I am usually in pretty bad shape and still had colonoscopies. Sometimes the trials I was in required day 0 and day 28 scopes. But, the only time I refused was after I hemorrhaged. I had already lost half my blood and was scared to be poked. At that time we did a CT instead. Hope that helps!
--female dx as UC in '04 (1st symptoms in '03), switched to Crohn's in '05, 1 fistula, crohn's colitis, limited to large intestine  --rejected (reaction/didn't work): Asacol, AZA, 6-MP, MTX, Remicade, Humira, prednisone, Tysabri
--Prochymal in Phase III study (can't wait til it's approved!)
--Compounded budesonide 3mg/daily, Started Cimzia first dose 2/10/09.  Dx Osteoporosis 10/08 started Forteo 1/27/09

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 7/19/2009 9:02 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree with sr5599. If things are too bad for a c-scope then a cat scan is performed.
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium  w/Vit D, and Xanax as needed for my anxiety.  Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 1177
   Posted 7/19/2009 6:00 PM (GMT -7)   
My husband had 2 sigmoidoscopes and 2 colonoscopies, in addition to 3 cat scans when he was in the hospital. They needed biospies to try and figure out if it was c-diff causing problems, or if it was Ulcerative Colitis (his original diagnosis), and the biopsies helped determine that he was actually positive for crohn's.

The doc did say that he stopped the colonoscopy the moment he saw the very bad inflammation in my husband's colon - he just picked up a few biopsy samples, and got the heck out of there - that was the first colonoscopy. After that, he only did another colonoscopy when his colon was doing better - not back to normal, but there was some improvement, and he still didn't go any further - just stopped at the transverse colon where he saw the inflammation. I think if your doc is careful, a colonoscopy can be a good test to diagnose your situation.

They do also rely on CAT scans when colonoscopies are risky - that's what our doc did. If he didn't absolutely need those biopsies, I doubt very much he'd have gone in. But in either case, as long as your doc uses good judgement, you should be fine even with a colonoscopy.
Husband with Crohn's
Diagnosed March 2003 Ulcerative Proctitis
Diagnosed March 2008 Crohn's & C-diff, hospitalized 45 days
Canasa, Lialda, Remicade, VSL#3, Florastor
In Remission since June 2008
Stopped vancomycin for c-diff Jan 1 2009
C-diff free, and in crohn's remission, knock on wood

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 355
   Posted 7/19/2009 8:34 PM (GMT -7)   
My doctor will not do one if I am having a bad flare and bleeding a lot. He always waits until things have calmed down a bit.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 202
   Posted 7/20/2009 9:18 AM (GMT -7)   
My last colonoscopy actually is what brought to light the severe level of inflammation I was having at the ime. Sometimes, that's the only way they know.
Crohn's Disease. 
Diagnosed 13+ years ago. 
Been in remission for short periods of time but each time I come out of remission my disease seems to have spread.  No longer isolated in my ileum, now from stomach down to rectum.  Currently have C-Diff.
Current Medications for the Crohns:  Humera 40mg injections every other week, Imuran 150mg, 3xday, Levsin, Welchol 625mg, Flagyl 250mg, 3xday, Calcium, Acidophilus & Potassium
Previous Medications I've been on:  Asocal, Pentasa, Cipro, Prednisone & Entocort

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