colonoscopy concerns

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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 768
   Posted 12/20/2008 7:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Back in July my GI said I'm due for another c-scope. We mutually scheduled it for Jan'09.

My last 'scope was June'06 when my first big flare hospitalized me for a week with pancolitis. At that time my colon must have resembled ground round. He did however detect polyps I think he snared one and left another as it was in an "awkward spot and felt it was fairly harmless at the time".

My worry is that for the past six months I've been in the best period of 'remission' since the initial diagnosis.
I realise remission is subjective but relative to the first two years, my bowels are behaving 'not too bad'.

i.e. one or two bm's of a morning, virtually no urgencies, mostly formed stools and most significantly, no blood.

I know from experience that this could change in a hurry so I'm not harboring any false hopes. I also know from experience that something as intrusive as a colonoscopy can and probably will, upset the status quo.

I can't put my finger on why my guts seem to be much better, I'm on 150mg azathioprine as a maintenance treatment but I have been taking a daily cup of probiotic yogurt and a turmeric capsule (450mg?). They just might be helping though I suspect it's mainly down to the 6mp.

1) Will a colonoscopy (and the dreaded purge) strip out all the good flora and bacteria that I've accumulated over the past several months?

2) Is it likely that with the removal of polyp(s) I will revert to bloody stools again--maybe another flare-up?

3) Can a 'harmless' polyp morph into a malignant one, and what are the odds?

Part of me wants to find out what the 'real' condition of my gut is but I can't help worrying that it could open up a can of worms and undo all the improvements.
It's probably makes good sense to go ahead with the c-scope anyway.

I wonder if anyone else has been in a similar situation and what was the outcome?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 12/20/2008 7:36 PM (GMT -6)   
It's my understanding that it's best to have your colonoscopies when you are better, it's always been my doctors' advice to "get over the flare, then schedule the colonoscopy." So that's what I do. It upsets things but only a little and only temporarily if you are otherwise doing OK.
Also, the removal of the polyps is best because they are pre-cancerous even if benign. That will not cause bleeding or flares.
49 year old female attorney, diagnosed UC/pancolitis 1985, no surgery but much suffering.
Asacol/5ASA 6x400 mg maintenance for 20+ years; use prednisone & Rowasa for flares. 
August 2008 sought care of naturopathic doctor. Food sensitivity test showed gluten, other intolerances; started diet without gluten, soy, dairy, tomato etc. Replete$$ probiotic powder at first, now Forte pills. Doing much better, but still having some bad days. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5975
   Posted 12/20/2008 7:55 PM (GMT -6)   

     My opinion due to past experience is in answer to your questions:

     1.  I don't believe a colonoscopy will strip you of the good bacteria.  My GI doctor always schedules one when I am out of flares and having colonoscopies NEVER brought about any of my flares, so hope that puts your mind at ease.

     2.  It is best to remove polyps, they are precancerous growths and should be removed.  Your stool may have a bit of blood following a colonoscopy but I wouldn't worry about flaring from this.

     3.  Yes, a harmless polyp can morph into a malignancy if left there long enough.  I have no idea how long this would take but I would want it OUT as soon as possible.

     You're staying on top of things and I wouldn't worry.

62 yr old granny. South Jersey
Diagnosed with ulcerative proctitis in 1998 in hospital
Hospitalized (2nd time) in May 2008
Update 11/03/08...finally in remission!!  Hope I don't jinx myself.  Off the prednisone since 11/01/ see if I can stay off for longer than two weeks.  Other meds: 6MP (75 mgm), colazal (6 per day), Benicar and Toprol (high blood pressure meds), Probiotic (2 per day), fish oil capsule and multi-vitamin and calcium with vitamin D.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 619
   Posted 12/20/2008 8:13 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree with everyone else, do go ahead with the colonoscopy. Colon cancer is nothing to mess around with and when your colon is in remission is the best time for your GI to be able to really examen it and get any growths and polyps out of there before they turn into something serious.

Any blood would likely not be from a flare but from the polyps being removed. I had quite a few removed during my last scope and bled for a few hours. You may want to bring a sanitary napkin with you for the ride home (if you're a dude borrow one from your wife or lady friend perhaps?).

Good luck with the scope. I found that getting the official word that my colon was in good shape really helped me mentally. I know for SURE I am in remission.

46 yr old female, dx'd UC April 27, 2006; mild arthritis in lower back, dx'd May 2008; Osteopenia dx'd 6/08 Finally achieved remission mid October 2008!!
12 Remicade infusions: 7/21/07; 8/18/07; 10/13/07; 12/15/97; 1/26/08; 3/8/08; 4/19/08; 5/24/08; 7/5/08; 8/15/08, 9/26/08; 11/08/08; 12/20/98; Current meds & supplements: Lialda, 4 tabs in the morning; Xanax as needed (rarely); Rowesa and/or Canasa; multivitamin w/folate; Culturelle; Fish oil capsules, calcium chews and/or Tums; Vitamin D; Past meds: Prednisone 4/06-4/08; Entocourt EC; Asacol; Colazal; Venofer (iron) injections Dec '07; Imuran (extremely bad reaction 2/07); Protonix; Lexipro

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 768
   Posted 12/22/2008 5:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks guys, I will take your advice and have the scope. It makes more sense after reading your replies.
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