Colonoscopy and EGD without sedation: My personal experience
Sometimes people look for information on having their scopes performed without sedation. I too, did not want sedation due to the fact that I am a total control freak. Today, I weaseled my way out of any sedation and had an EGD followed by Colonoscopy performed. I can now say that it was the RIGHT choice for me, and I would go unsedated again when I need the procedures repeated (hopefully not soon). But...yes, there is a but, the colonoscopy was very (but not extremely) painful. I would have to say that it was roughly equal to the worst stomach cramps of my life (which is tolerable to a certain extent, it's not the type of pain that makes you pass out). Rather, it felt as if my intestines had a mind of their own and were involuntarily jumping around inside me along with what felt like severe stomach cramps that precede diahreah. When the doctor PUSHES the scope in, this is by far the worst part, navigating the turns and running into "roadblocks"...having to back up slightly and give it another "push" is the worst feeling of all. After about 10 minutes the end of the colon is reached, and the retraction phase begins (this is the point at which polyps are removed and biopsies are taken), during the retraction phase, there is still gas pain from the air blown into you but the pain is significantly less...so IF you want to go unsedated, just know that the worst will be over halfway through, which is not so bad. Note: Biopsies don't hurt at all, though you may feel a "thump" on your insides.
The EGD was by far the lesser of the 2 evils. I have no idea why anyone is sedated for this. Colonoscopy, I can understand, but for EGD? Come on. This was a breeze. I experienced NO pain during this 6 minute procedure, the only discomfort was when my gag reflex was set off aprroximately 5 times total....a bit disconcerting, but Next time I will be more prepared to focus on my breathing and control the gag reflex.
So, if you are on the fence about sedation...I would personally say go WITH sedation for colonoscopy, and withOUT for EGD. My next colonoscopy will likely be sedated...EGD, no way.
Does anyone see how at the beginning I said I'd re-do colonoscopy without sedation, then changed my mind at the very end? Yes, I will be sedated next time...the more I thought about it, the more I realized I wouldn't want to feel that over again. But for EGD, sedation is silly.
I think everyone has different levels of pain. I'm glad it worked out for you to go without sedation. My mom goes without sedation too because she reacts so badly to the drugs.
I on the other hand had to eventually have it. I had a colonoscopy for the first time a few years ago. I told them beforehand that I wanted to be awake because I wanted to watch. They only slightly sedated me to relax me and told me that they'd have a nurse stand by to give me more meds if I needed it. I watched the screen for awhile and was interested in the whole thing but then they got to a point in my colon where they had to make a turn or something and all of a sudden I started to feel a lot of pressure building and pain and I told them to stop! He immediately stopped and asked me if I wanted more drugs and I said yes! Next thing I knew they were putting me back on the stretcher to take back to the recovery room. I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to see the whole thing, but I don't do pain very well either!
So everyone's different. My experience wasn't too bad. I had a nice, caring, gentle doctor so that helped a lot!
Hmm, I'm trying to remember. It was three years ago. I got my colonoscopy in the early morning, so I think I felt crampy for the rest of the day, if my memory serves me correct. 15 hours, wow! That does seem like a long time.
Great detail. Thanks for posting it. I'm having my 1st coloscopy in Nov and this gives me an idea of what to expect. I was planning on sedation, but special drugs since I'm drug (histamine) sensitive. ...just a routine one since colon cancer and polpys have show up in the family.
It's not too bad. I was surprised. I remember I was really dreading it, partly because I was worried about any pain, partly because of modesty. What they did with me was slightly sedate me so that i got real relaxed, even a bit sleepy. Then they took me back to a room and I layed on a table on my side. The nurse piled blankets on me till I felt like I was in a cacoon! And I had pillows under my head. They darkened the room (which relieved me!) and the only thing lit up was the screen that the doctor was watching. The nurse sat by my head and monitered my meds and would ask me how I was doing and if I wanted an increase of medication. When I did ask for an increase, she put more medication in my IV and I felt it immediately. All in all, it wasn't too bad. The worst part of the whole procedure was drinking that awful stuff the day before to "clean you out". Just make sure you stay home once you start drinkiing it and stay near a bathroom!
You know the day after the colonoscopy I felt pretty good and I heard it's because it's good to flush out your system like that once in awhile. That was my experience!
Thanks. It's good to know not to get myself worried about it. Also that the recovery is relatively fast. I was worried about that since I tend to be slower than the norm. I'm going for full sedation - I'll let them tell me what they saw afterward! Does the flush mean I can eat a bunch of ice cream before hand and it won't count calorie wise ; )? (Just kidding.) It's nice to hear of a good doc experience for a change. It sounds like yours was very good on the bedside manner. Thanks again. I'll remember what you said every time I think about getting nervous about it!
Hope your diarraha is doing better. I know it's a pain to have to wait for lab tests to come back. Smiles, Cheri
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