Gastroenterology Community
31.5k Members
Avatar universal


I'm 51 and have recently developed constipation alternating with diarrhea; and as if this wasn't gross enough I have occasional rectal bleeding, dark not bright red.  Otherwise, no health concerns.  I just had my annual job physical and the doc said that I had a positive hemocult test, but she though that this could be hemmorhoids.  I work in a university-affiliated hospital, so getting any tests is easy.  The doc doing my physical recommended a colonoscopy; which I scheduled but when they found out that I had a bad (really bad) reaction to Versed during dental surgery they had me reschedule with a CRNA for diprivan instead of Versed.  This wasn't possible because I'm allergic to eggs (therefore allergic to propofol).  I don't want sedation after reading an article in the Wall Street Journal that stated that patients who did unsedated colonoscopy actually preferred it.  The CRNA  told me that GI had a lot of complaints with Versed and tried to sell me on the merits of propofol (diprivan), that is until she realized on the day of test #2 that I'm allergic to eggs.  Again, I don't want sedation, but GI says it's "required".  So no test.  Then after a month, I end up going to the ER with nausea/bleeding/anemia and then GI tells me that indeed colonoscopy can be done without sedation and that they do them unsedated when required.  The problem is that the same doctor that told me that sedation is absolutely reuired a month ago is now telling me that it really isn't required.  This would be fine, but now I don't trust her, especially when the procedural consent includes a consent for sedation.  I'm afraid that they will screw it up.  Can I moify the consent to say "no sedation"?  I asked Gi and all they will tell me is to do the prep and get yourself in here for a colonoscopy or we will come and get you, since I work on the same floor of the hospital....  Am I being obsessive?  Thanks.
8 Responses
Avatar universal
No, you have every right to be concerned.  Your doctor sounds wishy washy, and this would concern me.  My son has to undergo colonoscopies yearly, and is also allergic to eggs, so he always has had his done awake.  He is now 38, but when he was young, we were told that it was best to not sedate him, as they needed to know if he is feeling  any discomfort, as they could perforate the bowel.  This has since changed and they seem to sedate everyone, but my son has his done without sedation.  I would not agree to the test until you sign a "no sedation" form, (get a copy for yourself at the same time) and get your other form "allowing sedation" back from them.  If you, and they have this in writing, they will not waver from it, but if not in writing, you have no recourse.  As they say "cover your ...!" Pardon the pun.  Best of luck to you.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the comments.  I'm learning a lot more about colonoscopy "sedation" than I ever knew existed.  I watched several being done with Versed and with diprivan (propofol); the patient is usually awake but does not remember the exam.  The one that I saw done with Versed was brutal; the poor patient screamed her head off and they ignored her cries.  She's a nurse whom I know; sure enough she didn't remember the exam immediately afterwards, but now a week later, she is an emotional wreck from the creepy partial amnesia.   The patient who had propofol did a little better, but they had to support his breathing because the drug put him into respiratory depression for a short while.  He works in our lab and his jaw was bruised from the jaw-thrusts that they had to perform to keep his airway open.   Colonoscopy sedation is obviously no bargain.
Avatar universal
I'm so pleased to see someone being pro-active with their health!  Not just taking a doctor's word, as gospel.  I had a son that had his colon removed at 12 and is a healthy 38 year old today.  His older brother had to have his removed at 16 (they both had inherited FAP which had taken their father when they were very young).  The sixteen year old was doing fine, but developed some pain in his abdomen.  I took him to see his surgeon, who said he felt it was scar tissue and that he should learn to live with it. But....if we wanted them "to go in and take a look around" they would.  They left this decision totally up to us as his parents.  We opted for the surgery, which revealed a very large Desmoid Tumor that was crushing his major organs.  We lost him soon after.  So, I am a big advocate of second opinions and educating yourself on any procedure, medication, illnesses.  You have to remain open minded, but it arms you with the knowledge to ask all the correct questions, and get answers, and make some choices of your own as you are doing!  Best of luck to you!
Avatar universal
Thanks for your support and I'm sorry to hear about your loss.  My dad died from colon cancer at a young age, way too young.   Your comment about keeping an open mind is important as well as getting as much info as possible.  The GI doc in my hospital must have got tired of my colonoscopy question since she let me watch several in the GI lab.  Now I know why so many people hate Versed for conscious sedation.  Amnesia or not, that patient's screaming bothers me.  Have a good weekend,
Avatar universal
Thank you.  Stay on top of your health since you lost your dad at an early age to colon cancer.  

You too, have a wonderful weekend.
Avatar universal
Thanks-I just got back from the ER, damned fainting spell and anemia; didn't have the courage to mention the rectal bleeding...........there are time when I wish that I didn't know anything about colonoscopy; after watching 2, I doubt that I will ever get one....the gastro doc told me that watching these was a mistake...
Have an Answer?
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Learn which OTC medications can help relieve your digestive troubles.
Is a gluten-free diet right for you?
Discover common causes of and remedies for heartburn.
This common yet mysterious bowel condition plagues millions of Americans
Don't get burned again. Banish nighttime heartburn with these quick tips
Get answers to your top questions about this pervasive digestive problem