First Colonoscopy

Thought I would share my experience with having my first ever colonoscopy on Saturday. I hope this helps others that may be in the same situation as me. I'm a 32 year old guy so I'm writing this from a blokes perspective.

Well after years of having IBS-d I was finally put forward for having a full colonoscopy! To say I was anxious is an understatement.

I was sent 2 packets of Picolax (a strong laxitive) to take 6pm the evening before and 6 am the morning of. This stuff basically cleans you out completely, by the time you are basically having the procedure you are just passing water. I read many reviews online about how this stuff makes you feel and in all honesty it did not hurt one bit! You just have a feeling of urgently needing to go but if like me you have had d for years its fairly easy to control. I had a 45 minute drive to get to the hospital which made me feel uneasy but as long as you go before you travel you'll be fine. Like some people have said this Picolax stuff can really get a hold on you and make you do lots and lots but I did not find this at all.

Waiting around in the waiting room isn't great as you know what is going on the other side of the door but try and relax. Once the nurse came to get me she asked me numerous questions. Things like how did I find the preparation, did I follow the diet instructions etc (you have a bland diet to follow for 48 hours). She also takes your blood pressure, mine was sky high but that's White Coat Syndrome for you!! You have 2 options with having the procedure. 1 is that you have Gas and Air during it or 2 you get given a sedative. I went for 1 as you are allowed to eat immediately after the procedure and trust me you'll be hungry!!!

You are then asked to get changed into the lovely gown and then just sit around waiting for your name to be called. After waiting for around half an hour (they were extremely busy) I got taken to another waiting room. This is where you meet the consultant that is carrying out the procedure. They are very reassuring and make you relax from the moment you say hello! I got onto the bed in the consultation room and was given the Gas and Air. Now the initial inserting of the camera is a little odd to say the least. Once the camera is in he proceeds to blow air into you to allow room for the camera to move. It's not pleasant as when you get the urge to pass wind it is pretty loud as there is so much air inside you. Do not feel afraid to fart as they don't care at all about the noise! I will happily admit that I think I passed out as at one point the camera has to turn 90 degrees and I did not cope well with that at all! If I ever have to have one again I will definitely have the sedative put it that way! The nurse did say that I basically gulped down too much gas as I was anxious and passed out because of this. I did wake up as the procedure was coming to an end and was able to watch as they took 4 small biopsies. They always take biopsies as a matter of course so do not panic if this happens to you! It only took about 10-15 minutes altogether.

The nurse in the consultation room said the pain I experienced is pretty much the same sort of pain women go through during child birth! I take my hat off to any woman that has had kids cause wow you do go through some pain!!

Once finished and the camera was out the consultant told me there was nothing there that he could see in the way of inflammation or polyps/lumps and bumps. This is great news for me as it pretty much means I have IBS (tosses eyes). I now have to find ways of coping with it, from changing diet to relaxing etc. I will find a way to make this uncomfortable thing stop.

That's pretty much it! Afterwards you are able to go straight to get some food! Bare in mind your not allowed to drive yourself home.

I hope this helps anyone that may be going through the same as me.

10 Replies

  • Thank you for taking the time to give your experience. I am going for a colonoscopy soon and I really wasn't sure if to have the sedation or not. As I've had the tube down the throat with just the numbing spray and I tolerated that quiet well. But since reading your post I may not risk it. I've had four children and don't really want a similar experience with something going back the other way. I'm glad all went well for you.

  • Hi Catherine. It really isn't anything to worry about and for me to say that is quite something, I can worry about anything!

    The most uncomfortable part was when they have to turn the camera round the first corner, google the large bowel and you will see what I mean.

    My pain threshold isn't high I have to add and one guy I spoke to didn't have any painkillers at all but personally if I went there again I would probably have the sedative. The one draw back though is the length of time you have to wait until you can eat afterwards.

    I hope yours goes well!

  • Well done

    Apart from the pre-procedure medication I was the same although I didn't have any biopsies taken as there was no need

    Now you have to wait for the biopsy results

    Good luck

  • Thank you I'm going on Friday for first one and am very worried About it. Not looking forward to the clear out procedure either at all...

  • Honestly the clear out is nothing to worry about at all!!

    Best of luck

  • Thank you you have cheered me up some ! I will be glad when it's over.

  • Nothing to it, I had no medication what so ever, just a good nurse who kept me so relaxed. She just kept talking to me. Found out I had colitis, which I control by diet. Found wheat and corn cause me problems. But you can find out which your trigger foods are by keeping a food diary. Best of luck.

  • Hi I have had to pregnancies and I have to say that giving birth is sooooo much worse !

    I have also had 4 colonoscopies and 2 sigmoids

    Dont think your clinitian has had children

    All The Best

  • Thank you for making it so clear in so many words. It is just as I experienced ,the only difference is that I had the sedative which made it acceptable! and worth it. The '3'D screens made it very interesting or is that just a 'boy' thing!. Best wishes to those who eventually have to take part in the experience. John

  • I had mine yesterday and I t wasn't too bad at all really - just a bit of discomfort through that top bend . I had the sedative though was fully alert through it and felt absolutely fine. so if anyone has one coming up please don't worry as the thought of it is far worse than the reality. The movi prep is interesting to say the least but it's no problem if you're used to ibs d and it basically is just water coming out really and at least you know you need to be near a loo for a few hours. Do not attempt to be anywhere other than at home whilst taking it. It slowed down its effects gradually and stopped really after about 3 hours after the second batch for me so I got a good nights sleep for my morning appointment with just a bit of a 'go' in the morning then absolutely fine after that.

    Best wishes to all having one it really is ok and at least you know what is going on and what you are dealing with. For me it's 'just' ibs (!) ....

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