Scope with or without sedation ?

Been told today I’m getting a colonoscopy and the upper GI scope. Not thrilled about it but understand it’s important.

Background info

26y male, right side abdominal pain (beside belly button). Acid reflux, constipation. For about 5 or 6 months now.

No history of bowel cancer in family, and no obvious signs of blood in stool.

No weight loss and I’m still eating as normal.

I’ve had a bronchoscopy before so I get a rough idea of what’s going to happen. I had sedation for this but I had a relatively good experience and was thinking for these other two scope if it’s worth doing it without sedation?

I’m not overly anxious about it more so the results.

Love to hear people experience??


25 Replies

  • Definitely have sedation for the colonoscopy, madness to try without !

  • Hi, ty for your reply. Have u had a colonoscopy before ?

  • Many times and even with sedation it can be painful.

  • I just had a colonoscopy and gastro endoscopy with sedation. The sedation worked for the first procedure but I woke up part way through the colonoscopy. I actually watched it on the monitor. I really was not the least bit painful. Even so I would still opt for sedation just for the stress factor.

  • Thanks, glad u had a good experience with yours. I’d rather they started with the colonoscopy first 😂 I feel like may be the worst bit. I don’t really feel stressed or anxious about getting it done. I’ve a pretty high pain threshold anyway. I’m more concerned about what they might find 🙁.

    It’s maybe too soon to start thinking about it I guess. Could be up to 8 weeks before I go for it .

  • Try not to get too stressed while you are waiting. I am sure that if you are experiencing any pain they will give you more sedation. The nurse I had told me that some people do opt for no sedation. The only thing about being awake was that I knew that there was something that was not normal and it made the wait for results(2 weeks) a very long wait.

  • I'm also in the same position awaiting a colonoscopy. I've been offered gas and air or sedation and not sure which to do for!! Good luck with it!

  • Decisions lol

    I have a friend who’s going for a colonoscopy before me (she’s also 26) so I’ll follow her recommendation.

    I’ll keep you updated 😁 and I hope it goes well for u too.

  • Hi there had one last week .had slight sedation and no problem at all .was chatting and watching it on monitor .so for me was fine no pain at all.but can only say that was my experience .found the picolax the worst part .ie being near the toilet .hope all goes well for you and don't worry .

  • Hi I would definitely have sedation as both procedures are not the nicest experiences you will ever have. At least they don't take long to carry out and before you know it you will be all done. Good luck x

  • i opted for a general anaesthetic for mine! they didn't offer this but i asked for it and they agreed! at the very least i would advise sedation.

  • I think this is what I will ask for if I have to have another endoscopy cos I was conscious even tho had sedation, sorry but it was horrible experience!

  • Hi,

    I've only had a colonoscopy, 8 weeks ago, I opted for no sedation as nurse said she had one that way and was fine. I must say I found the last few minutes very uncomfortable I felt that I was back in the labour ward! Was told to breath through it but it was really sore - which I wasn't expecting so got a bit worried. But it was soon over and instantly I was fine. Got changed, cup of tea then walked out and drive home while others were all in bed waiting for sedation to wear off so was glad in long run. I was told just trapped wind that caused the pain but if I was to go back in tomorrow for another then I would take sedative. I may have just been unlucky though as start of procedure I was totally fine.

  • Let's just say if I had to have the colonoscopy and upper GI done again....I would beg them to put me to sleep. I had the sedation which means you're still awake but just drowsy, and during the colonoscopy it wore off and I was in quite a bit of discomfort...apparently I have bendy tubes which made it difficult for the camera to get around he bends! So I then had gas and air and just got spaced out.

    So everyone is different in there so no matter what your pain threshold you never know if you're bendy!

    But with regards to the results, if there's anything nasty they can usually tell you there and then.

  • Thank you all for your replies, The hospital is pretty close to my house so worst case I’ll get a taxi home. I’ve still about 8 weeks to wait before I get my appointment so I’ll have to think about it. I’m leaning more towards the no sedation just cause it’s gonna be uncomfortable either way but at least it’s better in the long run.

    But it’s early yet I’m am likely to change my mind several times 😂

  • The problem with having no sedation is if it's to painful and they can't or won't continue you risk having to go through it again another day.

    If you have sedation they won't let you home on your own, you must be collected by a family member or friend and have someone stay with you for 24 hours.

  • I opted for no sedation because I wanted it over & done with as quickly as possible & It was uncomfortable & quite painful the last part as they go round the bends but bearable if you breathe through it with the help of "gas & air" & it doesn't last long. I found it fascinating looking at it all on the screen which was surprising as I'm quite squeamish. I wish you well, the laxatives beforehand were the worst thing for me, having a sensitive gut anyway I was stuck on the loo for hours, not pleasant.

  • I’ve had both procedures, dr could t find a vein for endoscopy so just spray pretty scary but would do again without as barely took 5 mins but colonoscopy I asked for sedation and I don’t think he got it in as didn’t work at all and was too painful when they started putting air in they had to stop as I’m bendy apparently lol was in pain for half hr after the failed attempts too I was then referred for a virtual colongraphy instead

    So if I had to have colonoscopy again I wouldn’t have it without a general!

  • It really does depend on the person. I had one and i was in agony with mild sedation and they wouldnt give me any more. I dont even think i had much to start with! The second one i had full sedation and didnt know a thing about it, i was asleep the whole time. I now wouldnt have anything like it unless i was fully sedated. There are people however who have no problems at all!

  • It varies hugely from person to person (and dr to dr) and depending on the state of your insides on the day think. I've had lots of these, all with sedation but a couple of times that wasn't enough and they had to stop the procedure as I couldn't tolerate it (I gave birth to a 9pound baby at home with no pain relief so draw your own conclusions re my pain tolerance!). That said most times are fine now but most sore at the last bit when they go round the bend in the bowel

    New NICE guidelines have significantly reduced the recommended sedation level (some people got tachycardia with higher levels) so you don't go very deep anymore (shame, I used to enjoy the sensation of iv gin and tonics 😂😂😂)

    If you opt for no sedation you can top up with entonox (gas and air) if you need it.

    So in summary you don't know what you'll need so play it by ear and ask if you need more drugs as that's what they are there for 😬

    I hope you get your diagnosis quickly

  • Yes have sedation tho doesn't always work, I had both endoscopy and colonoscopy with sedation but found I was still conscious, I was more worried about the procedure than results!

  • It’s great so many people have replied to my post :D I’m still unsure altho sedation has been already suggested by the doctor who will perform it I may just take it. I’ve had the sedation before with the bronchoscopy and it went really well even tho I was still aware of what was happening. So maybe just stick with it and enjoy the sleep I’ll have when I get home after lol

  • Hi, I've had an Bronchoscopy and a few gastroscopies in the past. First time I just tried it with the banana tasting numbing spray. All that did was close up my throat, felt like I was choking and really panicked. Started retching as well so they put me on heavy sedation. Didn't know a thing then. Learnt a lesson, have sedation!!

    Have been asked to have a colonoscopy but I've declined both times due to the preparation before. I will not go through sitting on the toilet for hours feeling sick and the world falling out of my butt. I have a real fear of being ill like that, so hence I cannot gave a colonoscopy. I would have to have sedation for it though, just better in case it does become painful, you won't know about it and it won't put you off if you have to have another one in the future (that's if the prep doesn't put you off firstly!) Good luck whatever you finally decide on!

  • Thanks, a friend of mine is having her colonoscopy today at 1pm uk time, she’s having the sedation. She said the prep hasn’t been to bad but I suppose everyone is different.

    My colonoscopy date is the 17th nov and I can’t wait to get it over with 😁 lol

  • I guess she can tell you her experience of sedation. Best of luck for 17th 😊👍

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