Endoscopy - Nightmare!

Hi all,

I went in for my first ever endoscopy yesterday and it was the worst medical experience I've had.

If you go for one make sure you have the throat spray with gas and air, i chose sedation alone (i thought they automatically did the throat spray with it but apparently it is unsafe even though I've read about over peoples pleasant experiences with the combination of the two) and it was awful.

They put the needle in my hand, fine, then they just started to sedate me and the next thing i know shes putting the camera into my mouth - i was not ready at all - i started choking and struggling with 2 nurses holding me down, she pulled it out and added more sedative - then within 2 seconds was back in again! I once again was gagging, sitting up, pulling out the tube and pushing the nurses away, she pulled the camera out and i was sat there crying and confused (due to the medication), i was then wheeled out and told they could only do a small check as they had to finish early due to me struggling.

When I was waiting in the recovery ward in tears and shock trying to calm down, another woman was wheeled in and woken up from her sedation (clearly sedated enough unlike me) and said 'is it over? that was quick' which angered me as mine was such a nightmare. I'm now angry at myself i couldnt remember my exact feeling.

My advice - throat spray and sedation (if allowed) and if not - gas and air, it wont be nice but it'll be better than just being a little bit sleepy!

I have been suffering with nausea, stomach problems, IBS symptoms and anxiety for months and I just want to know whats wrong, I think the doctor was wrong for sending me for an endoscopy as I think my issues are an imbalance of hormones or an anxiety related issue. Shaken up today, hoping for a better experience next time I visit the doctor.

23 Replies

  • Hi there,

    I felt much the same with mine, so you're not alone. I had no sedation or anything. They said the camera was just like swallowing a tablet - but of course it was nothing like.

    Anyway, to make yourself feel a bit better, think what they would have had to do if the technology had not been available. It's not fun, but worthwhile:)

    This is probably the next step: sickofibs.com/ibs-symptoms/...


  • You should complain! That is ridiculous that they didn't wait for your sedation to take effect. You were obviously being sedated for a reason!! I really hope that you are feeling better now x

  • Thank you, I think different people react differently, mine was just unfortunate. I am feeling better now, thank you for your concern :)

  • At mine they looked at arm and said no vein spray only I suffer panic attacks and was not pleasent I'm sure it was because he was running 2 hours behind! Nurses also held hands down, colonoscopy they said they had found a vein but they can't have done as screaming in pain and they had to stop

    These people need retraining!

  • That's awful, i'm so sorry that you had to go through that! They shouldn't rush a procedure because they're behind, you're a human. Hope if you have to go through something like this again you have a much better experience.

  • What you had was a gastroscopy - an endoscopy isat theother end of your body

    I had sedation formy gastroscopy and was aware of things around me but didn't feel anything like what you did

    I also had an endoscopy and only felt a littlediscomfort from that

  • An endoscopy can be either end, endoscope is the name of the equipment, gastroscopy, colonoscopy refers to where it's going.

  • Thank you, it was a gastroscopy but the hospital called its an endoscopy.

  • Sorry it was SO awful. I had a very bad experience with a colonoscopy about 3 years ago, ended up complaining and they couldn't finish it because they didn't give enough sedation and I was in too much pain. Must say it was a nurse colonoscopist and not a consultant/doctor. No surprises that I delayed and delayed the recommended endoscopy. Then I was put wise by my brother and asked for "High Sedation" and insisted the consultant did it. I had it done in January. Apart from the nurse botching the cannula insertion in my hand (and on the colonoscopy day too), consultant did it perfectly, I knew absolutely nothing. Please DO if you have to have any more, (and anybody else reading this coming up for an endoscopy or colonoscopy) ask for 'High Sedation' and a doctor to carry out the procedure. I do have high anxiety and it is so important with this condition to try to make everything as comfortable as possible. Needless to say I am so so relieved it's finally behind me!

  • Thank you for your response and sorry for your awful experience. It's silly that you have to ask for high sedation, surely they know to do that straight away! Glad your endoscopy went well and hoping that whatever issues you are having that they are being fixed :) I think I may go for different tests for now as I think a lot of my nausea is anxiety anyway, but I will definitely take your advice if i have to have another one!

    Thank you - I'm sure you will put a lot of people at ease who are worried about their own endoscopy in future.

  • Thanks for your reply. I've been trying to get to the bottom of long term nausea and anxiety for a long time, hence the endoscopy which revealed chronic inflammatory gastritis. I felt unwell on the recommended Lansoprazole (PPI). Now I am self-helping with some Aloe Vera Gel, I put some in a desertspoon about twice a day (doesn't taste nice but good effect). Also drinking diluted apple cider vinegar and taking SLIPPERY ELM. I've had 10 days now without nausea! Fingers crossed............Thought I would mention in case helpful for others with nausea, suspecting it's mostly anxiety induced with IBS. Keeping the stomach alkali I think is helpful.

  • Chronic inflammatory gastritis sounds awful! I felt ill on Lansoprazole too and switched to Mebeverine as they assumed it was bowel related not acid reflux. Fingers crossed you stay nausea free! I hope the anxiety gets better, it's so physical and draining.

  • Hi dachshund I was just wondering if your stomach issues have been sorted. I have the very same symptoms as you, my main problem is the nausea first thing in the morning. Recently had a Gastroscopy which revealed that I had osephaegal candidasies,I was given flucozanol for one week so hope this is sorted. I feel like you that some of my problems are anxiety induced with IBS. Did the Apple cider vinegar and Slippery Elm help?I have also lost weight as I haven't been eating properly because of the nausea.Any suggestions.

  • Dear Annee67, I certainly seem better on taking Slippery Elm twice a day and I also take one Milk Thistle at night. I was recommended Milk Thistle on the 'phone by a herbalist at a company called Cytoplan. This was recommended for nausea. It works on the liver although I don't to my knowledge have a problem with my liver. Had a gastroscopy in January which revealed gastritis. I have stopped taking 1 Lansoprazole a day because I was feeling excessively and unnaturally exhausted and it said on the "Side Effects" bit of the leaflet that tiredness is a side effect for 1 in 100 people. The minute I have a flair of IBS D I take Immodium and it helps the nausea as well. The consultant said if Immodium calms the over-active gut, i.e. the D bit, then the nerves are calmed as well because the two are so inter-linked. Have to say I am better than I was at the moment, but still have powerful churning on waking up from sleep most of the time. It's a real luxury if I have the odd night when I don't! I haven't really pursued the apple cider vinegar but have some so will try again in the evenings in the hope of it helping the excessive early morning churning! Oesophageal candidiasis sounds pretty rough. I hope you are feeling better.

  • Dear Dachshund thankyou for your reply I will definitely try the Milk thistle for the nausea. I was prescribed Lanzoprazole ranitidine and Omeprazole over the course of a year as my GP thought I had Acid reflux it wasn't until I had the Gastroscopy that it confirmed it was Oesphaegal candidasies and not Acid reflux, so I had been taking these pills and didn't need them. It is not surprising that I felt unwell while taking them as they stop the acid in your stomach I felt as if my food took absolutely ages to digest. I do hope you continue to feel better, keep in touch.

  • Thanks Annee67. Hope you will find Milk Thistle helpful. I think I am probably doing better not taking the Lansoprazole. I don't get reflux so can't see much point. May start it again if I run into trouble, plenty in the cupboard!

  • Hi dachshund.I love dachshunds! What I wanted to say was that the first colonoscopy that I had was like your first one.I had an injection and the pain was unbearable,the Dr gave me another injection but can still remember myself screaming.

    When I had the second one I had gas and air as well as the injection,I still needed the second injection and the experience was not pleasant but really not too bad.So I think gas and air should be offered to people as a matter of course.

  • How appalling ? It sounds ghastly not unlike operations in Nelson's day when they held the patient down while they cut off the leg. To me it sounds thoroughly unprofessional. If I were you I'd look through the Yellow Pages or on the Internet to find a Homeopathic Doctor (note I say DOCTOR not a homeopath) who will be more likely to discover your problem without all the violence. A doctor of that caliber will certainly know whether you need some intervention and will recommend a suitable place to go.

    I feel so sorry for you having had such a dreadful experience. Tibbly

  • I`m sorry you had to go through that, I went for a camera "investigation" a few years ago (other end) I wasn't given any sedation and it hurt like hell. My doctor recently referred me for another one and I said "forget it". Maybe right or wrong but I wasn't prepared to allow that again. I think you can be rushed through these procedures way too quickly. I have always been resistant to sedation. My dentist is aware of this and treats me accordingly (never feel a thing) so I dont see why a hospital cannot.

    I have recently seen a more senior doctor who has agreed that an endoscopy isn't absolutely necessary and is "keeping an eye on my situation. His opinion is if it was something more serious then other indicators such as weight loss would be present. I do think that being faced with that level of stress isn't going to help your situation at all.

  • I don't think it's the drugs what effect people differently it's the consultants doing the procedures I have had 30 endoscopies within a year. The majority were done by my consultant and I always came out not remembering anything and giggling for hours till I collapsed in bed lol. And then I had to change hospital as I moved and had another 5 at that one with different doctors and 3 were ok and 2 were atrocious I basically pulled the camera out myself I went mental and because of my previous history with the procedure they couldn't argue with me so as you and others have commented just make sure you ask for sedation.

  • That must have been awful!! I luckily had an amazing team looking after me, but that may have been because of my young age (18 at the time of it). I had the spray and was sedated and all I remember is slightly gagging and was crying a little but the nurses rubbed my back and assured me everything was okay. I don't remember anything else until waking up in recovery. An amazing team and so lucky I had them. If I had your experience, I don't think I'd ever want to try again xx

  • I feel like I need to add that I had a gastroscopy with just the throat spray in November and it was horrendous. A couple of sprays then they got me to lie down and put the camera in. I was gagging so badly, the spray clearly hadn't numbed my throat yet. Throughout the procedure I was sick, and extremely uncomfortable due to the air they used to inflate my stomach. I also had upper small intestine biopsies taken (to test for Coeliac's) and could feel a lot of movement and prodding inside my stomach. It was unpleasant to say the least - the longest 4 minutes of my life! I had nightmares for about 4 weeks following where I was gagging from the procedure. If I ever need another I will definitely be getting sedation.

  • Hello I have so much sympathy for you. I had an endoscopy yesterday I've just posted for the first time I can say mine was a nightmare.I had the throat spray only(cause I've had one before) and was fine.But I'm still in a lot of discomfort today with a really sore throat and even all way down hurts.I felt the scope all the time,very uncomfortable I sympathise with you.It sounds like she didn't give you enough time or even show any compassion towards you.Hope you feel ok now.

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