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Is Colonoscopy Painful? Do They Put You to Sleep? (Page 1)

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I haven't even seen the doctor yet so I don't know the situation but what is the process? Is it painful?

Sorry I can't seem to focus on anything but this right now. I posted my problem in a thread below.
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First Helper Edificatorator
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replied July 23rd, 2004
Active User, very eHealthy
From what ive ever read about that, I don't believe they put you to sleep. And I don't think its as painful as it is uncomfortable. I really wouldn't worry so much about it.
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replied July 2nd, 2011
I had this done yesterday and pain was excruciating - it took me back to 10 years ago when I had my daughter - it was worse than contractions because it was prolonged and surgeon wouldn't stop but the nurse injected pethidine and it knocked me out almost immediately thank god and the next thing I remember is waking up in recovery.
They try to do it without pethidine just pain killers but if I had to have it again I would insist on 50mg pethidine before they start which is what they gave me in the end as I was screaming and writhing with pain!
It is barbaric to do it without sedation in my opinion!
Good result as no abnormality found but if there is ever a next time I know what I will be insisting on!!! Don't be fobbed off when they tell you it is just "discomfort"!!!!
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replied July 20th, 2011
Colonoscopy
I totally agree. I had one about 25 years ago before they gave you anything but pain meds. It is very painful. I've had several since and you should definitely asked to be put out. The procedure last year where they didn't put me under totally was very, very uncomfortable. I also will never undergo another procedure without total sedation. I have colon cancer in my family so I have to have them more frequently than most. If you have the procedure without sedation, you will be very hesitant to want to ever go back.
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replied September 23rd, 2011
I had a colonoscopy two days ago and it wasn't too bad. I asked for sedation of some sort but they ended up giving me something to relax a little bit and the procedure, while uncomfortable, was not painful. I found the prep work for it much more uncomfortable than the procedure itself.
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replied October 10th, 2011
Colonoscopy really isn't bad for most people.
Sorry to hear how painful it was to you. I just wanted to share my experience with everyone. I had absolutely no pain at all. I had told the nurse it would take a lot to knock me out. I was awake when I was wheeled into the room and met the doctor and other nurse. The doctor approached the work surface and I said, "oh no, not yet, I can feel you." The nurse told him my comment about having a high tolerance to meds. He said give her more. They did. Still didn't know me out but I was relaxed. The doctor started the procedure and I couldn't even tell. Really, I couldn't feel a thing. I was able to watch the entire camera video with the doctor. I fell asleep after the procedure and woke up with no pain. Again, sorry you had a bad experience but from I have heard from others, most experience it a I did.
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replied October 10th, 2011
Sorry to hear how painful it was to you. I just wanted to share my experience with everyone. I had absolutely no pain at all. I had told the nurse it would take a lot to knock me out. I was awake when I was wheeled into the room and met the doctor and other nurse. The doctor approached the work surface and I said, "oh no, not yet, I can feel you." The nurse told him my comment about having a high tolerance to meds. He said give her more. They did. Still didn't know me out but I was relaxed. The doctor started the procedure and I couldn't even tell. Really, I couldn't feel a thing. I was able to watch the entire camera video with the doctor. I fell asleep after the procedure and woke up with no pain. Again, sorry you had a bad experience but from I have heard from others, most experience it a I did.
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replied June 22nd, 2012
invasive procedures
I have never and will never have any form of invasive treatment or procedure. I will take my chances rather that have treatments which are mostly unneccessary and can cause more trouble that they cure.
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replied August 21st, 2011
I have never and will never have any form of invasive treatment / exam, I'll take my chances rather that have these so called medical professionals poking around inside me doing largely unneccessary proceedures
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replied March 15th, 2012
I had a colonoscopy last week. I had previously been online looking to see how painful/incomfortable it was etc and frightened myself to death! I can tell you that it was probably the most relaxing half hour I have had in a long time, staff were lovely, consultant was sensitive and very gentle, I knew nothing about the procedure, just remember being asked if I was alright, which I was, no pain, no uncomfortableness, nothing. Having asked a lot of people who have had this procedure, I have to say the vast majority experienced the same as myself, so if you have to go for one of these tests, don't be put off by some of these posts as I am sure they are the exception rather than the norm. I did have midazolam and fentanyl and had no after-effects whatsoever.
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replied May 9th, 2012
Colonscopy prep
I just had one done. I was terrified. They gave me something to put me to sleep in my IV and was supposed to erase my memory. Not only did I not even get drowsy, but I have a broken tailbone to boot! I will be honest. Allthough I was awake the entire time and my a$$ was raw from the colonscopy prep, I did not feel a thing. I couldnt even tell they gave me any meds for it! But it did not hurt, it did not take long and it didnt bother me at all afterwards.
The IV hurt worse than the procedure but the vlood pressure monitor and oxygen up your nose was the worst part. Believe me, You have nothing to worry about as far as the procedure goes. The prep was miserable though. Cant lie
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replied July 23rd, 2004
Ok thanks
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replied July 23rd, 2004
Extremely eHealthy
I have seen it done and had it done, yes they will put you to sleep unless you prefer not to be, but, I recommend(sp) being knocked out and your won't remember a thing, you will be a little groggy and sore afterwards and they should give you a picture and explain what they found, if anything, if they do find something minor, they will fix it while you are out!
Sincerely,
sandy
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replied July 25th, 2004
Experienced User
Hey john! You aren't technically put to sleep, but they will give you something that will make you "loo loo!" and you will not remember anything that goes on. A colonoscopy is not as bad as people say. The worst thing is drinking the stuff the day before. If you have anymore questions, feel free to ask!

Megan
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replied April 17th, 2007
My father just got a colonoscopy done. This was about 1 week ago from 04/17/07. When the doctor came back and told us that he had one small pulup and a small hemorode which didnt mean much, we were both extremly happy. Before and currently though he still has lots of blood comming from his stools. We both wonder if there might be something else causing the bloody stools problem. He called the doctor and they said that he should just drink more medamusele, because it was just the small hemroid causing him the bloody stool problem. Any questions or comments would be much appreciated. Thanks. Shocked
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replied July 6th, 2007
Most Painful Medical Procedure of My Life
I had a colonoscopy in 2001 and it was the most painful and traumatic medical procedure of my life. I was writhing in agony, thrashing about on the surgical table, even though I had been given Versed and Demerol. The gastroenterologist then had me restrained in a surgical restraint garment and continued with the procedure against my wishes. I was screaming for him to stop. He ignored me. I had trauma for months afterwards. I could not get any support in my legal case against him, since this was considered a "routine colonoscopy." There is a lot of information going around that colonoscopies are painless. That simply is not true. If they were, why are they performed under strong pain killers? I want to let other patients know what is considered a "routine colonoscopy." If I had known, it would have been more easy for me to deal with what happened. If at all possible, avoid a colonoscopy. I am not referring to the preparation. That was nothing compared to the trauma of going through excruciating pain while I was restrained. Shame on the medical profession.
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replied June 3rd, 2011
colonoscopy was very painful
I agree 100% with you they started doing one on me this morning and it was excrutiating so i started to fight back so they knocked me out, I am very sorry to hear of your experience i managed a couple good elbows into whoever was holding me as they were yelling at me to remain still and had someone else by the shirt next thing i knew i was dressed in my own clothes ready to leave. My wife told me she heard the commotion in the waiting room and that the nurses wouldnt go near me they made her dress me on her own and shes 5months pregnants its a pity ya didnt get a swing at whoever did that to you, if they had kept holding me i would have bitten their arm off It was a very painful few seconds barbaric treatment not to knock you out. You shouldnt have to fight for better treatment the doctors should listen first time. i have had a shoudler dislocation broken pelvis and torn cruciate ligament I understand the difference between pain and discomfort i rate the colonoscopy up there with the shoulder reduction but not over as quick
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replied September 20th, 2011
Never have a colonoscopy
The easiest way to avoid the problems with a colonoscopy is to refuse the proceedure. I have not and never will have an invasive trewatment like that. Having read the truth about the proceedure on the net (not what the doctors choose to tell you), i refuse all similar treatments. It is your body, you decide what you want done, noone else no matter what the medical people try to make you believe.
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replied January 11th, 2013
against your wishes???? can you elaborate as in Scotland it wouldnt happen plainly.because its illegal..and i know of no modern democracy that woud do such a thing and if as u say they did id have them in court by now,,,i had.my colonoscopy a few days back and folks all.I can say is it was fine and. it was not uncomfortable at all...in fact I enjoyed the fact that the doctor said I had one of the cleanest colons he had ever seen.lol
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replied July 6th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
Re: Most Painful Medical Procedure of My Life
parakeets wrote:
I had a colonoscopy in 2001 and it was the most painful and traumatic medical procedure of my life. I was writhing in agony, thrashing about on the surgical table, even though I had been given Versed and Demerol. The gastroenterologist then had me restrained in a surgical restraint garment and continued with the procedure against my wishes. I was screaming for him to stop. He ignored me. I had trauma for months afterwards. I could not get any support in my legal case against him, since this was considered a "routine colonoscopy." There is a lot of information going around that colonoscopies are painless. That simply is not true. If they were, why are they performed under strong pain killers? I want to let other patients know what is considered a "routine colonoscopy." If I had known, it would have been more easy for me to deal with what happened. If at all possible, avoid a colonoscopy. I am not referring to the preparation. That was nothing compared to the trauma of going through excruciating pain while I was restrained. Shame on the medical profession.


Shocked wow, that is terrible! You must have some strange reaction to the Versed. Have you had it before? It is an amnesia drug, which is why they give it for these procedures, so that you won't remember anything afterward. I have had several of these procedures, and thankfullly I never experienced what you refer to, but I did read the report after my last endoscopy during which it stated that I did similar things, but thankfully I have no recollection of it. You are correct that it is not painless, thus the medications. I am so sorry you had such an awful experience. Other patients have reported being awake during surgical procedures, yet paralyzed, and being able to remember the whole thing afterward. I wonder if that is similar to your experience?
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replied July 21st, 2007
Colonoscopy
My wife had some rectal bleeding and her md recommended a colonoscopy. The prep used was a phosphate. Two days before the procedure, the hospital called and said she should come in at 9am on the day of the procedure. Since the procedure was scheduled at 12:30pm, she asked why the early appointment and was told that enemas would be required and it would take about 3 hours. She went in at 9am and was given 6 two quart enemas over a period of three hours. Actually only 5 because during the last enema she began vomiting from the pain and cramps and the procedure was abandoned. We later asked if there had been anything unusual about her case that required so many enemas. We were told that it was routine! We checked with other patients and they reported the same procedure. One of them actually got up and walked out.

She swears she'll never have another colonoscopy. Turned out that the bleeding was from internal hemorroids. Needless to say, after seeing what happened to her, I'll not be scheduling this procedure either. We both in our 70s.
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replied December 29th, 2007
First Colonoscopy
I had my first preventive routine colonoscopy today. Bottom line, everything looked great, and the doctor joked "This looks so healthy you're going to put me out of business".

When I arrived, the nurse confirmed that I wanted sedation. I was going to ask them about it, because I read several studies concluded that 60-70% of people who had colonoscopies with and without sedation preferred no sedation. I said it was not presented as an option during the consultation last week. The nurse said she had experienced one both ways and preferred no sedation. For her, the pain was similar to bad cramps that accompany diarrhea. She also said I could change my mind during the procedure if things got too uncomfortable (but made sure I had a ride arranged).

I decided to go without. Her description was very accurate; there were cramps but they lasted only 10-20 seconds. This happened 3 or 4 times as the scope was pushed around bends. The doctor cautioned when I would feel cramping, and was constantly looking and asking to make sure I was reasonably comfortable. The withdrawl is when they take more time and have a good look, it is painless, just a few odd sensations.

Everyone is different when it comes to pain thresholds and discomfort, but I am very glad I went without sedation. We could leave the place immediately, and could enjoy a celebratory glass of cab when we got home.

Here's what I learned:

- Strongly consider (or even insist) on opting out of sedation. If they won't allow it, consider a different doctor. I'm guessing a skilled and experienced doctor will be OK with no sedation (see below).
- The laxative they used was McKesson saline laxative. It tastes strange but not bad, and you just take it with 8oz of liquid followed by 16oz of water. Not as bad as other types I've read about. I did have a few minutes of dry heaves.
- Since I was fully aware and awake, I could tell the comfort level depends on the skill of the doctor and assistant in guiding the scope. Perhaps that is why some posts in this forum report a very bad experience.
- Bring along food, you will be craving something to eat as soon as you're released. A banana and granola bar never tasted better!
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replied March 2nd, 2009
I have Ulcerative Colitis and now they are thinking Crohns. I have had around 15 scopes and they are not bad. The worst part is the prep. My first one I was 16- I am now 27. They seem to get easier thru the years too. My very first one I was awake during- the rest I made sure to tell them to knock me out as much as possible. The worst pain for me is the gas after- they pump air in you to open you up...you have to just forget about being embarrassed and let it go...it feels much better after that!
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replied March 23rd, 2009
I am having a colonoscopy this week but just diagnosed with a upper respitatory infection. Really I just have a runny nose and my chest is clear. Should I cancel my colonoscopy?
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replied March 23rd, 2009
Community Volunteer
karma00 wrote:
I am having a colonoscopy this week but just diagnosed with a upper respitatory infection. Really I just have a runny nose and my chest is clear. Should I cancel my colonoscopy?


Call them and they will be able to tell you if you should keep your appt or cancel...
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replied June 8th, 2009
First Colonoscopy 6/10/09
I'm having a colonoscopy in two days, and I'm about to start the preperation procedure in 2 hours and 12 minutes. >_< I'm 15, and I'm so freaking out almost. I've never stepped into a hospital for anything medical, I've never had IVs, I can't imagine an "artificial sleep." I don't wanna drink the stuff they gave me. And on top of that, I get to imagine a tube going down my mouth! And then up my butt! I don't like the thoughts about this. >_< I hope this finishes everything and I don't have to go back. =[ I've been bleeding for over a year now, but I didn't tell my mom until about 11 months. (I think) I'm so scared about being embarassed and what people will think. =[

If a tear is found in your colon, how do they fix it? Apparently if they find one, they would bring a surgeon in. Would they have to cut me open, or would they use the intruments through the tube?
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replied June 8th, 2009
Experienced User
Hi oboeGirlz012
I had a colonoscopy done last Friday (6-5-09) Yes they will put you to sleep, you will not remember any thing til it is done. There will be no pain associated with it. They found something in my colon which required removal, and they removed it with the intruments through the tube. There were no cancer or such like found in my colon, but just a tear or something. They will tell you before they put to sleep that they will pump some air in you and you will be passing a lot of gas for a few minutes after you are awakened. The worst part about the whole yhing is drinking the stuff the day before. If you have any more questions, you can pm. me.
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replied June 8th, 2009
Community Volunteer
Re: First Colonoscopy 6/10/09
OboeGirlz012 wrote:
I'm having a colonoscopy in two days, and I'm about to start the preperation procedure in 2 hours and 12 minutes. >_< I'm 15, and I'm so freaking out almost. I've never stepped into a hospital for anything medical, I've never had IVs, I can't imagine an "artificial sleep." I don't wanna drink the stuff they gave me. And on top of that, I get to imagine a tube going down my mouth! And then up my butt! I don't like the thoughts about this. >_< I hope this finishes everything and I don't have to go back. =[ I've been bleeding for over a year now, but I didn't tell my mom until about 11 months. (I think) I'm so scared about being embarassed and what people will think. =[

If a tear is found in your colon, how do they fix it? Apparently if they find one, they would bring a surgeon in. Would they have to cut me open, or would they use the intruments through the tube?


My husband and I both had this done last year...It is a very simple procedure...The worst part is the medication you have to take beforehand...You feel or know nothing...No tubes or feeling anything...Good luck...
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replied June 8th, 2009
Medication before Colonoscopy
Does it really taste THAT bad? I'm gonna try to take HUGE gulps to get it over with. I'm usually NOT good with liquid medications. When I was little, it probably took me an hour+ to take a tablespoon of cold medication.
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replied April 7th, 2011
the taste is not so bad...you kind of get used to it. But at the end you may feel like vomitiing because of the large volume your drinking. Bad part is constantly running to the washroom for hours until you're completely empty. I don't mean to be rude but i suggest you stick a pad on the back of your underwear (man or woman) because you WILL leak a little. Hope this helps.
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replied June 9th, 2009
Community Volunteer
Hold your nose when you swallow it...I think we all have this problem...But, think of all the good that they are doing with this testing...Believe me, years ago it was much more difficult than it is now...They used to keep you awake instead of letting you sleep..Nowadays, it is nothing...Just a little bit of bad tasting medicine and it is all over...You will do just fine...
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replied June 9th, 2009
Supporter
Hi I had this done a few months ago..Like Caroline said worst part is the drink..It has a bad taste..Doing quick big gulps is what I did to get it done quickly..I was put to sleep after being given a muscle relaxer and off to la la land..I woke up feeling fine..They found a few polyps that were benign..You'll do fine..

Whatever the reson for this test on you be sure to follow through.
kd
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replied June 10th, 2009
I had a colonoscopy yesterday....I had been putting it off for years. (Suffering from IBS meant the doctors didn't insist I had one, it was more a case of me needing to put my mind at rest.) I had chickened out of two previously. Anyway it finally happened and it wasn't that bad, and the best news..my bowel was fine. I did faint when I had the IV put in!!!My blood pressure dropeed so low, they talked about rearranging it. Thank goodness they did not! I didn't think I could stand the prep again. The evening prep-though hard work was not as bad as the morning one, having to do it all over again was so disheartening. I think it did help that I had very light meals on the 1st day of the prep.No cramping or anything. The procedure itself is a different story. After the fainting thing they were light on the drugs I think , and I remember writhing around groaning at one point on the last bend. Whether I have a low pain threshold or the Nurse was a bit heavy handed I do not know...but the whole team I had were so nice..and when I did have pain they gave me more sedatives/pain killers. I think if you are worried I would make sure you are fully sedated. I was actually worried about being sedated, but it was actually quite nice!! If you are sedated fully, you only have to handle the prep and the IV (not scary to your average person, I'm just a bit of a baby with needles!)... and normally the wind afterwards. (uncharacteristically I didn't have much!!)Hope it all went well for you.
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