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Colonoscopy.. will it hurt?
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Colonoscopy.. will it hurt?

Colonoscopy.. will it hurt? Advised not to be put under due to blood pressure and allergy issues. What will it feel like. Is it painful. Do they put people out because of pain or just to make it easier on the doctor. Besides if you move you can do damage this I know very well. Just wondering if anyone had it done awake. Kinda scared it might hurt like a root canal at the dentist with out novacaine.

Thank you.
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Avatar_f_tn
If there's a worry about anesthetic, ask the doc about doing a virtual colonoscopy. The prep is the same and they do use 'gas' to inflate the colon. With this form of test, little to no meds are needed.

Colonoscopies are routinely performed with few meds around the world, but in the U.S. anesthesia is routinely used so that a person can be more easily moved when the whole of the body needs to be moved or re-positioned to get the scope 'around the curves.' It also makes the whole body relax so that there are no sudden movements which could cause a problem. I don't know if people are more relaxed and compliant in other countries or if they're just used to the idea of lesser meds being given, or what.............

With the virtual colonoscopy no biopsies can be taken of course, so if anything were found it would have to be followed up with a regular colonoscopy.

I've spoken with people who were awake during the whole procedure and their accounts vary. Some didn't mind it at all, others found it very uncomfortable - but everyone's pain threshold is very different.

You may want to talk to the anesthesiologist who does the procedures to find out what meds could be used in your case and then take that information back to your regular doc to discuss the issue.
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Avatar_f_tn
you dont have to be put out as with a general anasthetic but you can have sedation which is really very good i had colonoscopy about 18 months ago. I knew nothing about the procedure Have they mentioned sedation or can you not have this either.
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Avatar_m_tn
They were leaning towards nothing but checking in to seeing options. I personally rather not take anything. They said Virtual will not show them what they need to see. When I went to get my wisdom teeth out the doctor said YES must be put out. Then they couldnt put me out so it was done away. It was a joke and didnt hurt at all. So I wonder if people are put out for the doctors or the patients? I can't get an answer other than no you don't want to do it. Just no one can tell me why I don't want to do it? Very confusing, don't know if it will be so painful I would move and cause other problems or just somewhat painful. It already hurts on a daily basis, think I might have learned to deal with the pain. Dont know. Hoping someone could describe what it would feel like.
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Avatar_m_tn
Also when they inflate you with air do you start burping or trying to vomit since it is all connected.
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Avatar_f_tn
No, you don't burp or vomit. You'll expel the gas later, rectally.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks you all put me at ease. The doctors make it sound so painful but don't actually know for sure. I am sure I will feel the most violated in my life but I'm not expecting it to feel like a root canal with out novacaine any more. I am actually looking forward to getting this done and over with now. :) Thank you. I will try to post how it went in a few weeks after it is done.
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Avatar_m_tn
But please still post more info if anyone else had it done awake with no drugs so I know more of what to expect to fee. Thanks
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Crystalfresh, I went in yesterday for my first colonoscopy and advised my doctor that I did not want to be sedated due to heart problems and previous adverse reactions when attempting demerol/sedation drugs in the past.  He told me I could try it unmedicated but to remember there were many drugs available that could be adjusted to find something that would work for me.  I developed extreme anxiety when they started to wheel me in the room and begin to shake a bit (I knew this would never work with a scope being inserted inside of my body).  I knew I wanted to be awake so what they did for me was give me about 5mg of fentanyl and a "drop" of versed to help with the anxiety.  I was awake for the procedure but didn't have the anxiety anymore so was able to talk, watch the screen and the only discomfort was when they went around curves but because of the fentanyl I was able to tolerate the pain.  I am glad that I agreed to having the slight medication that I did have because it would have been a stressful experience if I had not.  It truly was a breeze with the nervousness removed.  Let me know what you decided on.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks. Ok I am expecting pain. The doctor said it might be extra painful for me personally with my bowl problem so I agreed willingly to have an IV in place should I need drugs for the pain. There isn't much they can use on me so I think they were going to use Valium to stop the spasms that would make it more painful. Not sure I can have Valuim. Me and my wonderful body. We need to find something I can tolerate safely. But for now we are doing it with nothing. Sounds like it will be an adventure I'll only want to do one time. My desire to have it done is very strong. I want to know what is causing my problem. You confirmed what was told to me. Don't worry it's not scaring me.

How was your breathing through the whole thing? Any trouble with the pressure on your lungs? Did you feel like you were going to vomit from the pressure. Almost have all my questions answered.

Thank you by the way for all responses.
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Avatar_m_tn
I also do not do the sedation drugs; I finally found a GI doc that would do the colonoscopy unsedated and it was uncomfortable in the bends, but certianlly not unbearable.  The GI doc who did mine insisted that I have the option of getting the IV pain meds if I needed it (fentanyl) so she insisted on starting an IV.  I really didn't think that the test was all that uncomfortable, but 1/2 of the way thru, she suggested 1ml (50 mcg) of fentanyl, which I agreed to......it made the test a breeze, no desire to vomit, no problems breathing, and as far as pressure from the air goes, once I got the fentanyl, I was so relaxed that I was farting uncontrollably..which felt great and the doctor said "that's music to our ears, you have to get rid of it"......seriously, get the test, you will do fine.  That test was a year ago and I just had the yearly repeat test since I had a bunch of polyps.., but now I get a yearly colonoscopy....someone named Donna from this board encouraged me to get my first one done and I had a polyp removed that was an adenoma.......the test and her encouragement likely saved me from a very bad situation...
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Avatar_m_tn
i did one last week they did upper endoscopy and lower complete colonoscopy, they sedated me and put me asleep I woke up after wards not knowing the procedure was even done. i was also afraid of being put asleep but it actually was very pleasantand even after the operation i felt better than i ever did in a while did and took a nice nap afterwards.
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540266_tn?1214658441
Wow, I did colonscopy 4 months ago. less than 15 minutes procedure. They asked me to sign papers to be continued the procedure, I asked  why, They said as nothing  to worry about it as serious procedure, but it would be internal bleeding or  make tear in colon by accident, so they have todo colonsopy with patient's consent. I was sedated , but it did not make me asleep. I watched the screening of colon. They put very flexiable rod with small camera thruugh anus, do not think it as anal s£X
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Avatar_m_tn
Finally going through with it in 4 hours from now. They added an endoscopy too. I hope I will be as brave as I think I can be with the endoscopy. I'll post as soon as I can... Getting ready to go now. Funny I ate nothing but jello and had more energy than with most full meals. Who needs solid food when you have pure sugar all day. lol.
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Avatar_m_tn
It felt like moderate gas pain with a little sharp pain while the gas was flowing through all the colon. Hurts for a few seconds off and on no different from regular bloating and cramping pains except this is only for a few seconds here and there.

Then the rod being pushed in felt sharp and didn't bend around so easily. When they pushed it through me slowly and guided it then it was painless!!

Then the front edge of the rod felt like it scratched me. I said OUCH!@! It was totally bearable but caught me by surprise. Me and my big mouth. Right after that they drugged me and I went to sleep. :( I missed my big experience.

I sorta woke up for the endoscopy part. Being drugged I only choked 1 time and it slid way down. Then felt nothing, maybe they gave me more as I went back to sleep, eyes closed.

SO VERY FRUSTRATED. I wanted to have an experience not sleep through it.

The results were normal. No problems. Still can't poop. Doctor is referring me to someone else for further treatment soon for more answers. :(

Anyway the conclusion of all this, sedation in not needed. If you can handle ripping off a bandaid fast you can handle this.
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Avatar_m_tn
Just one more comment. It might also depend on the doctor doing it. One that is more gentle pushing the rod will be painless.

And the gas did not go up to my small intestine. No burping. :)
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Avatar_m_tn
One more thing. The bloating from the colonoscopy is very different from the bloating you get with food. Since you take super laxatives to clear out before doing this when my colon filled up with air it didn't feel like it was pressing up on my stomach and small intestines. I was worried I would vomit but it is very different from when you also have food and bloating in your small intestine and stomach. With both of those areas empty the bloating in the colon stayed in that area and didn't affect higher up.

Not that I would want to but I could do this again with no problems, no drugs. It would be more comfortable with something like Vioxx or a mild pain killer like Tylenol with codeine or even 1 shot of rum would loosen you all up. Umm. If I do it again I might take a Benedryl to make me a little drowsy to loosen up my muscles from spasming from bloating pressure. Basically something to loosen up the muscles. If the muscles are relaxed it will be much easier on you. Mentally you can be AWAKE and ALERT! You really don't need any drugs but it will feel like ripping off a bandaid for 5-15 minutes here and there. How many of us need drugs to remove a bandaid. Exactly!

If you suffer from bad gas bloating and find it hard to pass gas it will be less painful than what you normally feel. They didn't inflate me to that level of bloating pressure.

And if you take drugs to help you "mentally" relax you will make noises. The drugs stop you from being able to control your self. The slightest touch and you might scream but not because you are in pain. Just like being drunk, you act stupid and do things for no reason. Not sure why they give people those kind of drugs? Doesn't make sense. Sleepy pill or lite pain killer that's it.

As far as being nervous there is no reason. I was calm through the whole thing. All they are doing is putting something in your butt that you really don't feel until it pokes you. You have poop going through your colon that is MUCH larger. It sort of feels normal if you feel it. There is nothing to be nervous about.

The endoscope might be hard for some since you gag. Colonoscopy is a piece of cake. When you go to the doctor and they put their finger in your butt that in my opinion feels worst than the thinner scoping.

I'm sure in my life time I will have this done again. Probably take a child's dose of Benedryl to relax my body to prevent spasms. The spasms (muscle cramping) does hurt. For women it is like a period I could imagine. Cramping is no fun. Yea, I'll take a Benedryl or something. I won't let the doctor give me any medication however. I can take it my self with their permission before the exam. Too bad we all can't just take a shot of rum!!!!!!!! That would do it for sure and be out of you in time to drive home. Wait empty stomach. Make that a 1/4 shot of rum. Then you won't spasm so much and it's the spasms that hurt not the colonoscopy.

As far as the endoscopy I would ask to be sprayed with something to numb the throat and hold you breath when they spray. That should be enough with numbing it so you don't gag. However you probably could handle it with out being numbed. I wouldn't, I'd need to be numbed to prevent gagging. Problem is going down, once in you should be ok. Then again when taking out. But it's fast like 2 or 3 seconds to go down.

I hope my experience helps someone else.

As far as the drugs. I don't recommend taking anything that messes with your head. The drugs can stay in you the whole day and prevent you from being able to go back to work. Either of these could be done and return to work after if done with out drugs. That's why I like Benedryl. Makes you sleepy and wears off fast. I think perfect for a colonoscopy. Any kind of short acting drug like that if if makes you sleepy. Just remember to take half the amount of what ever you take "with doctors permission" because you are doing so on an empty stomach...

OH WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Benedryl would have to be a dissolve strip because you can't drink before the oscopies. The one that melts in your mouth might be ok.

Talk to your doctor about options. I honestly believe they drug you so you don't talk and annoy them during the oscopies not to help cope with it. There is NO REASON why anyone should be put to sleep!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! in my opinion unless they suffer from anxiety.

Just my opinion. Don't talk to the doctors while they are doing the oscopies. It seems to annoy them and they might drug you to keep you quiet so they can work. Don't say what's that, or show me that, what does that look like ect... You could find your self getting very sleepy very fast..... Just my opinion.
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Avatar_m_tn
Just thinking. I had a colonoscopy because of pain and constipation. So I was used to the feeling. What I felt often with constipation and gas was sometimes more painful than the colonoscopy it self. Someone who is not used to that kind of pain probably won't tolerate the pain well. It's not the kind of pain that is felt throughout the body and doesn't affect breathing. When my small intestine inflates from gas bloating from food that affects my breathing because it pushes up on my stomach. During the colonoscopy the small intestine and stomach is empty. But it's 20 minutes of sharp gas pains that some people would probably wish they had some pain killers. I had my wisdom teeth pulled. The night I got home it hurt. If that was a 10 in pain the colonoscopy with out drugs would be a 4-6. Missing a nail and hitting my finger with a hammer = 9. Stubbing my toe walking barefoot = 6. Getting a tetness shot for rusted metal 3. Dentist drilling with out novacaine = 30, Don't ever chance that. Dentists can really hurt. Bad hemorriod 9. So I gave some things to compare how much pain I felt. If you choose to go with out being put out (I recommend) definitely ask for a medium pain killer but you won't need to be sedated at all. You should be able to drive home after a few hours when the pain killer wears off. As far as the strength of the pain killer I'd say about 1/8-1/4 of what they would give you for wisdom teeth pain after they are pulled. So at most it would be 1/4 as painful as the night after wisdom teeth are pulled if that much at all. If for only 5 minutes I'd say nothing, but for 20 minutes it can get hard. Also take ice to put on your chest or stomach which helps. It's stressful and it will help keep your body cool to keep your heart rate down I learned in some people. Staying cool is very important I don't know why Drs don't cool patients down during the procedure?? It has a natural and mental numbing affect too.

Just wait 15-20 minutes for the pain killer to kick in. You will be fine! If you are having biopsies you will need to talk to your doctor about sedation since if you move it can turn in to a very dangerous situation. But otherwise there is absolutely and I mean absolutely no reason why anyone should ever be put out even mentally drugged unless some type of surgical procedure is taking place when they can just take a pain killer. I personally can handle it with no drugs at all but I was used to the pain before I went in.
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