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Is Colonoscopy Painful? Do They Put You to Sleep? (Page 3)

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September 20th, 2010
I had my first colonoscopy today. The prep. was by far the easiest part. A lot of water to drink and then get rid of but no big deal. I thought I had the worst part over with. Before the procedure, they gave me versed and then started the procedure. Firstly, I felt no effect whatsoever from the so-called sedation. It did absolutely nothing. Then about a minute after the procedure started I was in a great deal of pain every time the doctor advanced the scope. He had my changing position constantly on the table but I got no relief. I am normally very quiet and stoic through these things and painful dental procedures but I was groaning in pain throughout this exam. The good thing was my result was completely clear and I will have the procedure again in 5 years because the benefits outweigh the risks and discomfort. But I will be asking for double the sedation next time!!
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replied March 27th, 2012
Painful Colonoscopy
I don't know how you did it - I was in pain for, perhaps, a minute and it was unbearable. And - like you - I'm pretty tough with pain. I think the pain for me was when they were going around the first "bend". Like you said, every time they advanced the scope - PAIN!!
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replied September 27th, 2010
My GP has mentioned a colonoscopy for my abdominal pain and BM but ive turned it down.

Im glad yours went well but due to a death in my family caused by a colonoscopy i wont be getting one EVER!
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replied June 20th, 2011
Extremely eHealthy
for those worried; DON'T I have had them with and without and today u won't feel a thing because they almost always will put u lightly under for short period of time and make sure u r fine before u leave.
The only real worries are if the Dr is CHEAP and re-uses single use equipment and unfortunately it happens.
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replied August 9th, 2011
I have had several colonoscopies. I never felt a thing since they lightly sedate you. The worst part is the prep
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replied August 16th, 2011
I am 15 and i have to have one of these soon and i am really scared. i was wondering if they will put me to sleep or will they keep me awake and can i ask to be put to sleep? and my stuff i have to drink came with falvors what the best one?
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replied August 16th, 2011
I am 15 and i have to have one of these soon and i am really scared. i was wondering if they will put me to sleep or will they keep me awake and can i ask to be put to sleep? and my stuff i have to drink came with falvors what the best one?
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replied August 17th, 2011
Extremely eHealthy
you will be fine, so take what the drugist gives u when u walk in with your rx and don't worry, and yes they will put u asleep temporarily. if is no big deal and when u r ready to leave u will be normal even though they ask you to have someone drive u, (u r not old enough) but I just ignore that and tell them I have someone and then go drive home.
now stop worrying
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replied October 10th, 2011
WOW I can't believe some of these stories. I'm really sorry for those that has such a difficult time or pain with their procedure. I'm more concerned about the man that said he was elbowing and trying to hit the nursing staff. When you have the procedure done, they have you lay on your side. It's very easy (especially when sedated) to want to roll over to your stomach or back and sleep. If you attempt to do this, a staff member will stop you. You must be laying on your side. Yes, they are putting a tube inside intestines and they naturally curve, and twist. The doctor has to follow this same path. They cannot do that if you're curled up in a fetal position snoring. I'm sure we are told of the difficult times more than the normal no big deal times. I have an older Brother who is terriffied of having this done. I'm sure reading some of these stories isn't helping. But I told him and I'm telling everyone else, I had no pain! I didn't feel discomfort! I was given medication but still fulyl awake and watching with the Doctor! I had no pain after or the days to follow! The worse part was having to clean out the bowels the night before. Just have some baby wet wipes handy to be gentle on your behind. Even if I had to experience a little discomfort for a 20 minute procedure once every 10 years to know that I didn't have pre-cancerous or undetected cancer going on, I would do it.
The most important thing is catching it early and catching early warning sings. Believe me, to go through cancer treatment is a hell you don't want to live through. Get you check up done and over with. Get a clean bill of health and move on. It really is that simple. Your loved one's don't want to lose you because you were afraid or embarrassed to have this done!!!!
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replied March 27th, 2012
Because you had an easy colonoscopy, you can't understand the unbearable pain there can be. My first was absolutely fine - my recent one - A LOT of pain at one point.
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replied February 20th, 2012
I've had four of these. Many people have a tight splenic flexure turn at top of descending colon (top left) and you'll know it when you feel it. To push the scope round here, they need to push pretty hard and this forces the loop of the scope past the sigmoid colon to stretch and abuse that bit. Can't be done gently, for some people. You'll get shocking pain there, and at the tip of the probe. In the old NHS(UK) they would knock you out instantly if you groaned at this point, but now they can't afford the log-jam of bodies in anaesthesia recovery time under the new screening regime, so they just sedate you, and mildly. Nasty system. Hard-edged staff. We're up against 'Policy'. In return for momentary pain near the start, you get to star in your video which is enjoyable, and you can remember it afterwards. Seeing with your own eyes your perfect guts (if lucky) makes the early pain fade in memory, and the pulling back slowly through the colon is pain-free, when they are checking every inch. Fun to watch. I might well use a private clinic next time, as I'm 'a difficult colonoscopy', but some are just luckier inside. Amazing and fascinating check-up, if you can just grit your teeth for those few seconds.
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replied March 1st, 2012
I KNOW MY BODY - if I say I need pain relief then that is what I
I had my 2nd colonoscopy in 5 years yesterday.

The first one I told them that I needed strong pain relief, they gave me nothing but a sedative. Pain relief does not equal sedative...

I felt like I was raped. I was pinned down whilst people shouted me to shut up! Eventually they knocked me out completely. Worst experience of pain in my life.

So, naturally the second time I was scared to death.

I told them what happened the last time and they said they would give me the maximum 'jungle juice' they could!

This time... I STILL FELT everything. I will NEVER have the procedure again.

Medical professionals???? LIARS, LIES all LIES!

I KNOW MY BODY - if I say I need pain relief then that is what I NEED.

Horrid.

And I HAVE had lots of other procedures, including 4xrounds of IVF injecting myself daily and eggs being taken out/extracted via a long needle up you know where... I'm not a 'flighty' person.

A colonoscopy is barbaric. IF you need one and care for yourself and love your family, you will have to have one BUT INSIST on PAIN RELIEF not just sedation!
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replied March 27th, 2012
I totally understand where you're coming from. They need to have some SERIOUS pain medication available if a patient is in unbearable pain. They just can't tell us to "stop" and then continue. I'm assuming the doctors who just "continue" never experienced the terrible pain there can be. It is barbaric to just continue. People who haven't had that kind of pain don't understand a person who reaches around or yells etc. You just want it to STOP!! As I posted last night - it was far worse than childbirth - which I thought was nothing....
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replied March 26th, 2012
Painful Colonoscopy
I have a very high pain threshold - in fact, after one major operation I refused any pain medication at all! I had my 2nd colonoscopy today - and at one point I was in the most pain I've EVER been in. I kept asking them to stop and I was even trying to push their hands away, to no avail. It lasted a while - they took out a polyp and I believe I felt the pain the whole time they were removing it. It was far, far, far worse than childbirth !! Yet, with my first colonoscopy I felt nothing. Actually, I DID feel something something in the very beginning of the first colonoscopy and told them, so they upped my pain meds and then I didn't feel or remember a thing. But after the "procedure" today - I'm gonna be VERY afraid to have another one!!
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replied January 9th, 2013
As I have said in previous posts, I have never had nor will have, any form of invasive procedure. I will take my chances rather than have these egotistical butchers messing around with my insides.
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replied March 26th, 2012
Community Volunteer
Hi BestGigi1 and welcome to ehealth: I have had a few of these and never felt a thing...Yet, believe me I have heard your story many times...I don't know if it is the policy of the establishment to cut back on medication or what, but something should be done about it....Try voicing your opinion....It's about the only thing that you can do...Take care...

Caroline
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replied March 27th, 2012
Thanks Caroline - before the surgery - because I asked - the nurse told me that everyone has a different reaction to pain meds. She said a tiny 90-year old woman (not me!!) can need lots and lots of pain meds - while a big burly guy can be knocked out with very little. Evidentally - I needed more - a lot more!!
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replied June 5th, 2012
Colonoscopy true informed consent
There are moral and philosophical questions here. When I hear or see people say "I woke up happy and asked when does it begin,"I feel the same way I would if a person came in and said "Hurray for me. I now own 51% of the Brooklyn Bridge."The reason they say that is because they were given an amnesia drug (the only reason they choose it) that made them forget the severe pain. That is why they cannot drive. Reducing pain would take extra skill and more expensive recovery time. Was there severe pain if you just don't remember it? If your awake desire for pain relief was ignored because you were being drugged into amnesia? Is the truth so terrible to tell? What if prospective patients find out this is NOT what Couric and Oz actually got? Do Doctors and the insurance companies lie for financial reasons? I don't know.
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replied January 9th, 2013
Yes. The doctors think that they are god and will only tell you what they want to tell you for their own ends. As already said, I will never have any form of invasive procedure.
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replied January 9th, 2013
colonoscopy proactive inconvenience is better than dying
I found the preparation to empty your colon the worst part. The general anaesthetic allows you to sleep through the whole precedure. I have had four colonoscopies as my father died from bowel cancer. After watching him suffer for two years and many operations I believe that the unpleasant preparation for 12 hours is far better than getting cancer and dying.And then you have peace of mind you are ok or at worst they will find any early polyps and treat before they are cancerous
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replied January 11th, 2013
Every surgery gives pain but every people like to save their life although the treatment is very painful. Colon cancer is most worst disease which needs immediate treatment. I heard that Envita Medical Center provides very latest colonoscopy treatment which doesn't have any side effects and more pain
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replied May 1st, 2013
No drugs are needed
After reading some of the messages here, I cannot but wonder why this simple procedure has provided so much painful experiences to people. The fact of the matter is that it is a really simple thing to do if the doctor is expereinced and it is far less painful than anything you may encounter at the dentist's chair. Usually the discomfort occurs when air is pumped into the colon to allow the device to move and provide adequate view for the examining doctor. Also at some instances, the bends in the colon may cause a little uneasy feelings, again if the doctor does not know what to do. I just had my sixth colonoscopy and never have I accepted any drugs to be used. Two of these were performed in San Diego CA and the rest here in Finland. The doctor in USA was surprised that I did not want any sedation and the doctor here was rather surprised that anybody would need or want any drugs. There is also absolutely no need to monitor the blood oxygen level or the heart rate if no drugs are used. This last time was also so much easier than any of the earlier ones as the doctor used carbon dioxide in lieu of plain air. No bloating feeling during or after the procedure at all. The worst part in this process is definitely the prep as one needs to gulp immense amounts of liquids and is not allowed to eat almost anything for a day or so. It really wonders me why some people would consider colonoscopy as painful and dreadful. It is either totally psychological or the doctor is doing it the very first time. Maybe they need to change their doctor. Invasive or not, this procedure saves lives. It did exactly that with me.
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replied July 17th, 2013
Had a gastroscopy and a colonoscopy yesterday. Did the Pico Salax the day before along with a very restricted diet.
In my case I have a high tolerance for diazapines. I informed the specialist of that 2 months before the procedures. On the big day I was given Versed (a diazapine) and Fentanyl for pain. Neither had the slightest effect. They ended up giving me another dose, but still no effect. I went through both procedures. First the gastroscopy which was very difficult and then the Colonoscopy.
Later I tried to recall a time in my life when I had endured more pain than I had suffered through the colonoscopy. I couldn't think of one. The colonoscopy lasted 20 minutes and it was so painful I was sure the pain would knock me out. That would have been a blessing.
Moral of story: if you have a tolerance for sedation, make sure that your doctor agrees in advance to the proper course of action. You don't want to go through what I endured yesterday.
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replied May 1st, 2014
patients being 'forced' to endure pain???
I find it NOT funny and disgraceful that there are so many stories here talking about 'writhing in pain' and 'being held down and forced to endure 20 minutes of pain'. That would be called TORTURE, and I don't know many hospitals that are in the practice of TORTURE. I'm sure there may be extremely rare instances where a patient was in pain, the doctor told them 'it won't be much longer', and so the patient felt pressure to endure it. But these stories of FORCIBLY BEING HELD down, or the doctor allowing the procedure to continue while the patient is SCREAMING in pain? This is obviously pure BS by internet weirdos who think this is funny. I'm not saying it may not be a painful procedure, but doctors have NO INTEREST in FORCING PAIN on patients, as so many fake stories here seem to imply.
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