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Colonoscopy - Please share your experience
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Colonoscopy - Please share your experience

Hi,
I will be having a colonoscopy on Sept. 12 and I'm starting to get a little nervous.Is it very uncomfortable? I can tolerate pretty much pain but I'm just afraid of the unknown because I never did this before.Please share your experiences.Thanks!!
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19 Comments
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You're going to get a lot of responses to that question in this forum! Let me be the first to say...I have had many. I suffered with ulcerative colitis for 4 years before I had surgery. Each patient is different. So while I may share MY experience with you, each patient is different. With that said, my experiences with colonoscopy's have been far from unpleasent. The sedation they give you is great! You will probably know what there doing and you MIGHT feel some pressure in your rectum and belly..but nothing intolerable. The procedure usually lasts about 20 minutes unless they do other procedures...you will feel the sedation effects for a littlw while after the scope. But all in all, it is not an unpleasent experience. I hope all goes well for you! Good luck
                                      JCI
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Hi Shmoopie, I was put out for the process,so no prob except for a bit of gas for a couple of hours after I woke up....  good luck to you..
                                    el guapo
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I had a colonoscopy last December and was a little apprehensive about getting it done.  I had a doctor that put me at ease and since these things make me a little squeamish he also gave me an ativan just to relax me.  They do sedate you and I ended up sleeping right through it.  It was not at all unpleasant and aside from being a little groggy waking up I would have never known what they did. It is an important procedure and well worth it.
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I have crohn's disease.  I've had lots and lots of scopes: colonoscopies, EGD's and even thru my stoma.  the docs I know use sedatives that have amnesiac properties.  when my bowel is in pretty good shape, the scopes were a breeze.  but, I've had scopes when my bowel has been severely inflammed and narrowed.  while I did have pain, I don't remember the actual pain.  I remember my reaction to it and my thoughts of wanting to strangle the doc, but I don't remember the actual pain.  drugs are great.  and biopsies of your bowel don't hurt.  the lining of your gut has no nerve endings, so if they do those you won't feel a thing.  some people are able to stay awake and watch the screen thru the procedure.  personally, I look forward to the nap and my doc gives me pictures afterwards.  now, the prep is a whole different story.  since my bowel is already in bad shape, the preps are very tough on me.  well, I should say were, since I don't have to do a prep now that I have an ileostomy.  

good luck.  try not to be too anxious, anticipation is the worst part.
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I have had two colonoscopies.  I was sedated with a drug called propofol.  I knew absolutely nothing during the procedure.  And afterwards, I would never have known anything was done to me...no soreness anywhere, absolutely nothing.  I was not even groggy and felt fine the rest of the day.  You have to have someone drive you home because of the sedation.  The prep is the only unpleasant part, but certainly tolerable, especially when you think how important a colonoscopy is.  I used fleet phospho soda for the prep.  That involved drinking 1 1/2 ounces with 7up at 2pm and 6pm the day before.  You drink clear liquids and can have beef or chicken broth and jello and popscicles....no red color.  Prep instructions vary a lot, I am just telling you what my instructions were. Some helpful hints to anyone having a colonoscopy--get the prep drink (like phospho soda or whatever you are instructed to buy) as COLD as possible and don't drink it slowly.  Have some baby wipes on hand to use instead of toilet paper.  This helps with the irritation that comes with having diarrhea all evening!  Also use a little desitin or cortisone cream.  Just have a positive attitude, and remember the whole ordeal will be over soon.  Good luck!!
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Hi everyone,
Thanks so much for all the responses.I feel SO much better now and I'm ready to go!I can handle pretty much gas pain because I do have IBS.I am having the colonoscopy because my father had colon cancer at age 58 and is a survivor at age 72! I agree colonoscopy is very important.I will be taking the Fleet exactly like was described in an earlier post.Unfortunately, the day I take the fleet is the same day as my daughter's very first soccer game so I guess that's out for me.:(   I've been told the potty will have to be near at all times!Thanks again for all the tips.I must go buy some baby wipes!
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I wish everyone were as willing as you to get this important, life saving test.  It is SO important to get it when you have colon cancer in the family, and it should be done anyway, whether there is a family history or not.  That's too bad about the soccer game but this is more important. There will be many more games!  That's great you have been instructed to use the fleet phospho soda, I think that's better than having to drink a gallon of stuff.  It does taste nasty, but just remember to get it very cold and chug it with 7up or ginger ale or whatever your doctor says is ok.  The "starvation" and diarrhea are not fun, but well worth it all.  I'm sure it will all go smoothly for you.
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Majority of people who have colonoscopy's have great doctors who do them.

My OB/GYN told all his pateints 50 and over that we must have one.

I was suppose to have a medication that I would not feel or know anything that was going on. This was not the case with this &%^%$%$%.

I felt ewverything. He gave me a drug called Fentynal. This was it. This med did nothing for me.  I cried out in pain. Earlier I was told that I would have monitored anesthesia and would feel nothing and awake without any side effects of grogginess, etc. etc.

Please be sure to discuss the medication before hand with the doctor and his nurse, etc. etc.

My hubby has had a colonoscopy every year for the past 10 years (different doc).  He is given versed and some other meds.  He does great, feels nothing and is a happy camper. He has a great colon/rectal doc who really cares about his patients.

Good Luck to You.

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My colonoscopy was a breeze, like most of the other people here have described. I do remember one little moment of slight cramping, but that was it - I was basically out (that Versed is magic).

I also want to add that while the prep is not fun, it does give you a sense of feeling really "cleansed" afterward...I remember feeling great once the prep was over - just really clear and clean. I wonder if anyone else here has had that same experience (?).
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I had the same feeling and experience as you. I was so happy to with the cleanser (had the gallon option)that for me it was a relief. I just moved everything to the bathroom including a book to read. Next day, I was lucking to have this started at 7:00 AM, got general anesthesia and didn't feel a thing. Didn't eat anything before I left the hospital and never thought that I was going to feel so good. Only thing, my colonoscopy was incomplete because doc found a twist and recommended Ba enema to be done after a week then did another cleanse but the phosp one which I don't like. I understand that many people don't tolerate to drink the gallon an depend of the condition of the patient.
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I have had 2 colonoscopies and I must tell you that everything was fine.  I was sedated and didn't have a clue as to what was going on.  The only problem I had was a little gas for a few days.  There is nothing to be afraid of.  Good luck to you.
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Thanks again everyone,
I will try to post again Thursday evening and share my experience.You all have been wonderful.What a great place this is to share your concerns.
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Yea it's over! The hardest part was yesterday doing the colon cleanse.Very sore bottom! I was nervous going in today and as  soon as I got the sedative I was fine.I remembered having the procedure done at the time but now I don't remember it(I'm sure you  who have been through this will know what I mean).I don't recall any pain whatsover during the procedure.The only pain I felt was trapped gas in the recovery room which has slowly been relieved.I am typing this 3 hours after the procedure was done.I would certainly go through this again.I don't feel groggy at all.The best news is my colon looks great. No polyps, pockets, or signs of cancer.Thanks again for all your response.You are a blessing.
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So glad to hear that everything went well.  That is wonderful news that everything looked good.  When does your doctor say you should have another colonoscopy?  That's great that your Dad is a colon cancer survivor.  If you stay on top of everything and get screened, you will not get colon cancer, since the polyps can be removed before becoming cancerous.  Take care!
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Hi eveningstar,
I will be having another one in 3 years and if everything is ok then it will be another 5 years.Now I must pest my 2 older brothers to have it done.
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You are lucky to have a good doctor.  I had colon cancer about a year and a half ago at the age of 53.  My mother had it at the age of 80 and is fine now at 90!  I went in to have a colonoscopy just because I heard it was the thing to do, had no symptoms at all, and figured that the fact that my mom had colon cancer at such a late age would have no bearing on my health.  A cancerous polyp was discovered, in the early stages. I guess we will never really know if this was an inherited thing. My surgeon told me that my three children, who are all in their 20's, should be screened at 40.  How old are you?  Hope you don't mind my asking.  Just wondering, because they usually say children should be screened about 10 years younger than their parent was at diagnosis.  I say the earlier the better.
Again, congratulations on your GOOD news!!!  Hope you can convince your brothers to go now.  It could save their life!!
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I am 42 and my father was diagnosed with colon cancer at 58 so the "norm" would have had me have it done at 48. This was unacceptable to my parents.They wanted it done now!They were convinced that my IBS symptoms had to be cancer.I'm still their baby at 42! LOL I have 3 children age 10 and 2 in the 20's so I will be pushing them around 40 too.This test was so easy.I realize today I don't remember a thing from the time of the sedative till I got "awake" in the recovery room.You are a perfect example of having colonoscopy just for screening.Thank God you decided to just do it.There is a woman in my church who is in her 60's that just found out she has colon cancer.She said she is in a win win situation.If she survives she will be with her children.If she doesn't she will be with her husband.What an inspiration!
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I am 24yrs old female whom have always had constipational difficulities.  Every once in a while I would have bleeding, (sometimes it really scared me).  I have tired laxatives to help, but they usually don't affect me at all.  Last semester I was having severe headaches with vertigo and a neurologist diagnosed me with chronice tension headaches and migraines w/vertigo.  I notcied that my feelings of being light-headed and dizziness due occur simutaniously with my constipation. I have also had rapid weight gain within the last few months and I am more active now than I was before so the dr. does not understand why I am gaining so much-(dr. confirmed not due to diabetes &/or thyroid). I have missed my mestrual cycle for 3 mths now (dr. thinks it may be due to the weight gain) so she is wondering if I am having problems with my reproductive system.  However, I have a mucas disharge (light tan colored) when I do try to have a bowel movement or do have one.  Could my reproductive system difficulties relate to my bowels or my bowels relate to my reproductive problems?  I am afraid to get tell my dr. about my bowels- I have never had any of this checked.  (When asked about them, I say that "I am regular" because I am scared of what could be wrong.  I am a college grad student and I am skeptical about all this medical stuff because I am afraid of the possible diagnosis. Does anyone have any ideas what I could be dealing with?  I feel alone.
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Please don't be afraid to discuss with your doctor your problems relating to bowels and constipation.  The doctors have seen and heard it all, this is no big deal to them.  This is just part of life and taking care of yourself.  It's probably nothing serious, and you will feel much better when you get it all checked out. But the only way to find out what's wrong is to be honest and communicate with your doctor. It's just not worth it to put these matters off.  In the unlikely event that it is something serious, the sooner you get it taken care of, the better!  It would be best to see a gastroenterologist.  Have you had a colonoscopy or any kind of tests similar to that?  Let us know how things are going.
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