Colonoscopy anyone?

Well after posting earlier this week about my great genetic inheritance with more cancer than you can believe I have had some tests back and need a colonoscopy. Apparently it is considered urgent so they are trying to arrange it for next week, if not it will be the week after.

I'm not looking forward to this, I understand you are awake and I think if someone is having a look at my bowels I would rather be asleep but I don't think it is an option.

I just wondered if anyone has had a colonoscopy and tell me is it as bad as I fear it might be:eek:
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2831.00/£1500
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Comments

  • Nargleblast
    Nargleblast Posts: 10,762 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Debt-free and Proud!
    The procedure is no big deal, you can have sedation to make you a little woozy and half of it you won't remember afterwards.

    What is rough is the preparation for a couple of days beforehand. One day you will be on a restricted diet (assuming your healthcare trust follows the same protocol as mine) - white fish, chicken, potatoes, eggs, bread, no fruit or veg. The next day you take fluids only and the infernal bowel prep to clean you out. Just make sure you take it easy that day and have a toilet close to hand. It is worth it to get the reassurance that things are normal, and if there is a problem it can be addressed in the early stages.

    I had one a few months ago which showed an enlarged appendix (due to a benign tumour). The colonoscopy was an elective one due to a history of bowel problems. I had had no symptoms so was lucky to get this identified!

    Hoe it goes well for you.
    One life - your life - live it!
  • I had one last year. Family history of cancer. They were very gentle with me.

    . Nargleblast is right the preparation is worse than the procedure.

    The worst I had during the procedure was a bit like trapped wind.

    You can have sedation and also gas to help with any pain.

    My mum has them too. She finds them more painful.

    Best of luck. If you can relax it can be quite interesting.
  • GwylimT
    GwylimT Posts: 6,530 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    If you don't want an altered diet you can have an enema, you can also be put under a general, they don't tend to tell people due to the cost.
  • I had one a few years ago. As others have said, the procedure itself was painless. I had sedatives given to me - I was fully awake but very relaxed and calm. I could see the monitor - kinda weird being able to see inside yourself! Afterwards I had a bad case of trapped wind, but that did sort itself out naturally.

    However, the preparation is awful. You are given a sachet of powder to mix into water which will clear out your bowels. This happens frequently and is quite violent - stay near a bathroom! :eek: I was recommended barrier cream to use otherwise things will get very, very sore. There is a clip of Billy Connolly describing it all on YouTube - having been through it I can say it is very true!
    Only in our dreams are we free.
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  • I have to have them yearly after suffering from cancer five years ago and we have a genetic problem in our family, so my children have to have them regularly too (from the age of 25) As everyone else has said the preparation is the worst bit - having to run to the loo with no warning isn't a lot of fun, but the procedure itself is fine. Good luck
  • mumps
    mumps Posts: 6,285 Forumite
    Home Insurance Hacker!
    Thanks everyone, it doesn't sound alot of fun but worth it. They didn't phone me back so hopefully I will hear on Monday. I'm hoping its not next week as we have family staying so the week after would be better, still I suppose I shouldn't be fussy.
    Sell £1500

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  • teddysmum
    teddysmum Posts: 9,471 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    I had one after what turned out to be a severe gastric upset, as the consultant said it was a good idea,due to my age.


    I made the big mistake of searching the net and was petrified.


    Even the prep wasn't as bad as I expected, as the YouTube videos were from the States,where they have to drink huge amounts of potion.


    I had the above mentioned restricted diet with nothing but drinks and jelly (not red) the day before. However, I think I helped 'matters' by reducing the amount I ate a day early, so not so much clearing out to do.


    I had painkiller and sedation (they are reluctant to do GA because of the risk,too) and remember very little.


    I recall the surgeon explaining what he was going to do and decide to watch on the screen,but dozed off and only came to to feel the slight cramp as the tube went round the two larger bends.Next 'minute' he mentioned taking a polyp sample and 'seconds' later I was being wheeled out of the room ,to the recovery area.


    The worst part for me was the wait for results; only to find that the biopsy was not even needed,due to the small size of the polyp.


    I found this video, about Lynn Fawlds Wood reassuring.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwjaARY5L1k
  • I've been having colonoscopies every 3 years for 17 years since the age of 15 as I have ulcerative colitis. They're not pleasant but few procedures are! When they say urgent we usually have a 4 week wait at our hospital.
    There's a few different types of prep they could send; I get moviprep. It's meant to be lemon lime flavour but it's hard to tell! When it comes to it, make the solution in advance and put it in the fridge as it's easier to drink cold. You can add squash, just avoid any red ones. I find a straw helps too.
    Depending on your appointment time you'll either do both sachets the night before or one the following morning. It's advisable to have a fairly gentle dinner leading up to it; chicken, pasta that sort of thing.
    Not going to lie, the affects are pretty spectacular! I've never managed to drink all of the solution but it's never mattered as it's done the job. Get a book for the bathroom or something to watch as the walls can get boring! Have a watch of the Lee Evans sketch a few days later and I promise you'll laugh about it.
    Opt for sedation, just remember you can't drive for 24 hours and you'll want someone with you when they give you aftercare as you might be a bit drowsy. The sedation doesn't make you sleep, just hazy and lucid. It makes it easier for them as you may need to move. I know some people who have no recollection of the procedure!
    They give you pain meds and gas, if it gets too uncomfortable tell them and they'll up it. It goes very quickly and I'd describe it as uncomfortable rather than painful. My last one I had a bit of cramping afterwards which was mostly down to trapped wind! I told the nurse and he pulled the curtain round for me to discretely release some air- because a curtain does so much!
    I hope it all goes well but please don't be worried; it's not as bad as you'll imagine x
  • lr1277
    lr1277 Posts: 1,681 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I had a colonoscopy last week. My trust gave me the option of 2 kinds of sedation. One was a gas that you applied yourself i.e. you needed to inhale when you were uncomfortable/in pain. The advantage of this is that the effects wear off after 30 mins so I drove myself home.
    The other option which I didn't go for was some kind of anaesthetic which is administered through a needle in the hand. This gives more relief, but the downside is that you need somebody to drive you home as you are too woozy to drive.
    As I said, I had the gas and found it ok. A few uncomfortable moments and some pain, meant I inhaled the gas at those times. Nothing I would call bad pain. I found the whole experience ok.
    My dad had the colonoscopy privately and they gave him an enema before the colonoscopy, but he still had to do the preparation to clean out the bowel.


    HTH
  • mumps
    mumps Posts: 6,285 Forumite
    Home Insurance Hacker!
    Haylescom wrote: »
    I've been having colonoscopies every 3 years for 17 years since the age of 15 as I have ulcerative colitis. They're not pleasant but few procedures are! When they say urgent we usually have a 4 week wait at our hospital.
    There's a few different types of prep they could send; I get moviprep. It's meant to be lemon lime flavour but it's hard to tell! When it comes to it, make the solution in advance and put it in the fridge as it's easier to drink cold. You can add squash, just avoid any red ones. I find a straw helps too.
    Depending on your appointment time you'll either do both sachets the night before or one the following morning. It's advisable to have a fairly gentle dinner leading up to it; chicken, pasta that sort of thing.
    Not going to lie, the affects are pretty spectacular! I've never managed to drink all of the solution but it's never mattered as it's done the job. Get a book for the bathroom or something to watch as the walls can get boring! Have a watch of the Lee Evans sketch a few days later and I promise you'll laugh about it.
    Opt for sedation, just remember you can't drive for 24 hours and you'll want someone with you when they give you aftercare as you might be a bit drowsy. The sedation doesn't make you sleep, just hazy and lucid. It makes it easier for them as you may need to move. I know some people who have no recollection of the procedure!
    They give you pain meds and gas, if it gets too uncomfortable tell them and they'll up it. It goes very quickly and I'd describe it as uncomfortable rather than painful. My last one I had a bit of cramping afterwards which was mostly down to trapped wind! I told the nurse and he pulled the curtain round for me to discretely release some air- because a curtain does so much!
    I hope it all goes well but please don't be worried; it's not as bad as you'll imagine x

    The bit about the curtain has just made me choke on a cuppa and my monitor is now a bit damp.

    I think I am more worried about feeling embarrassed than the pain, I know that is stupid as it is all routine to them.
    Sell £1500

    2831.00/£1500
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