Morning. Had my colonoscopy appointment on Saturday pm. Did all the prep as instructed (pretty disgusting!) Was resigned to the procedure. All ready to go, camera inserted - the pain was intolerable! The consultant was grumpy gave me a little more sedative, gas & air, had another go - so much pain I cried! He said the gas & air was making me emotional!! Seriously? I'm 64!! Anyway procedure aborted. Told I would be referred for a CT Scan. Same prep required! I have read some reviews online and many say if the colonoscopy is painful, then the CT scan (i.e. still got to have an insert in the rectum and pump with gas) can be the same. Don't know what to do now. Dont want to go through all that prep only to fail again. Have done some research and seems cancer/polyps can be detected by an accurate stool sample test. Why don't they do this first instead of invasive procedure as the starting point? Is there a way of having an in depth stool test privately? I still haven't had a blood test as they are cancelled due to shortage of vials. I do not have any of the first symptoms of cancer, I just poo 3 times a day and find it difficult to wait. Can anyone recommend what to do next? I feel as if I haven't had enough discussion with someone who is an expert. My GP just felt my stomach and referred me immediately for a colonoscopy. It could be so many other things.. none of which have been mentioned for testing. BAM, etc. Help. I am willing to pay for a private consultation with an expert if only to be heard!
Failed Colonoscopy: Morning. Had my colonoscopy... - IBS Network
This sounds very strange to me. Usually you are put to sleep for a colonoscopy. It is a light sleep and you wake up fairly quickly after it is over. Did you have it don in a doctor's office? This is not a good idea. Try again, but in a hospital, where you will be given sufficient sedation so that you feel nothing and are unaware of the procedure.
They don't do that in the UK, they like to make us suffer!
Yes indeed. Unfortunately I don’t see any alternative but to have the CT Scan and hope it isn’t as painful. You don’t get any sedation for that!
I had an intravenous sedative for the colonoscopy because I have breathing problems, but I guess they try the gas/air for everyone else as the default choice - obviously, not a good one in your case, but I don't know whether it would have been feasible to change over at the start (doesn't take long to fit a canula and you would have had the same dozy experience that b1b1b1 and I had!).
The CT scan air is less intrusive because they are not inflating distal parts of the colon and, although it wouldn't be such a reliable result, I don't think you could "fail" it if you had to have the pressure reduced. The disadvantage of the CT scan is that they can't remove polyps or take internal samples for testing, and I think the stool (FIT) test only detects traces of blood, which may be caused by polyps or cancer, but that would still have to be confirmed by other means.
I hated the prep for both and would certainly not want to repeat that, but I had little problem with the actual procedures. I think you have 4 choices: (1) repeat the colonoscopy with intravenous sedative (at least they might be able to remove any offending structures in the bowel at the same time, and sample for other issues); (2) have the CT scan; (3) have both; (4) do nothing!
I don't think I can make the choice for you (and I don't envy you making it!), but I hope the background and personal experience is helpful.
I had a similar problem, I had the procedure without sedation as I live alone and no-one to stay with me for the prescribed time, was in so much pain they had to stop and was referred for a ct scan,
The procedure was much easier with no sedation required, only slight discomfort as they still have to insert a tube to pump a little air so that they can see better otherwise than that no problems or pain.
I hope this at least puts your mind at rest for your ct scan
I had no idea that was the case in the UK.
You get what you pay for I guess! But I do find it odd, they numb your mouth for a filling but not sticking something up your bum!
Here you first get put in a bed, then they offer you an extra blanket. Then you go to the procedure room and get an IV and are put into a light sleep. When you wake up you are back in bed. You rest there for about 2 hours while a nurse checks blood pressure, etc. Then you get fed a nice snack and are helped to the dressing room by a nurse. Then you can leave.
That all sounds very civilised!
And I thought the Brits were always more civilized than us yanks.😋😋 x
I live in the UK and have always been Sedated for numerous colonoscopies. Mostly at kings college hospital in London. Con amore Bx
How did you get to go to King's, is that you local?
Yes it was my local as I lived in Crystal Palace at the time. Also, I was working there in the dental department but I don’t remember pulling any strings. I had a colonoscopy in Italy and that hurt like hell. That was the first time but all subsequent investigations were painless. Con amore Bx.
I already had IBS for about 12 years when a locum doctor suggested I have a colonoscopy. I wasn't too keen as I have never been one of those people who think I have cancer! She said well if you do this you will get some answers. So I did do it and I never did get any answers, just told I had IBS which I already knew, so it was a pointless exercise in my opinion, and not a very pleasant one!
Nonsense. I have had a couple, and was supported all the way through and treated with dignity!
When was this? Mine was done in 1998, as far as I can remember!
About three years ago!
Maybe it's changed then, but I have no intention of repeating it unless I really have to as I have had IBS for 35 years with very little help!
Hi Amanda, first port of call is always blood and stool tests. It's not like them to send you for a colonoscopy without having those done first. It could be because of your age maybe! Very odd though. What you are describing sounds like classic IBS. You don't have to have the CT scan if you don't want to and perhaps if you went private, if you could afford it, you would be treated better. I had a colonoscopy over 20 years ago and it was not a good experience for me and said I would never have another ever!
If you suffer a lot of pain during a colonoscopg, points to the fact that you may have a narrowing or restriction of the lower bowel. It may not be causing the trips to the loo, that sounds to me like IBS but it means any procedures like a colonoscopy would be painful. You need to discuss this with your consultant and if you arent happy with him ask to be referred to someone else, a lady doctor if possible.
Goodlord, much sympathy. Sounds like they are trying to save money on anesthesia and anaesthetist. In NZ we get what b1b1b1 reported. You might stay conscious for a while but no pain and most people drift off completely. Probably mostly Valium. It doesn't make sense that polyps will show up with stool tests. I get those every year and no evidence of cancer symptoms or anything else but colonoscopy found 2 polyps ( which was causing very narrow pencil shaped bowel products.) Other people should have experience of scans, but I thought they are non invasive.
Last year had the same procedure- gas & air, in hospital. Did make me a little high- but was happy! but which I thought had gone out in 1960.
I have a 'loopy' bowel that is difficult to manoeuvre the camera around- it. revealed diverticulitis, and polyps . Painful procedure though.. My neighbour ( aged55 ) had the National 'stool' test and it revealed bowel cancer.
I have never been offered that test. despite having had follow through barium exrays, and various other tests. It seems more successful than lots of other options ,
I also was in excruciating agony when they did my colonoscopy last year (I’m 65), and when I cried, I was also told it was the effect of the gas and air! The so called sedative and gas and air had absolutely no effect at all, as far as I was concerned. The doctor carrying out the procedure did persist and managed to complete it. I said I would never be having another colonoscopy again, and he agreed. I was diagnosed with IBS and visceral hypersensitivity based on the pain I experienced during the procedure and the fact they found no polyps or anything else abnormal. I also then had a CT scan with an injection of dye (completely pain-free), which indicated I had slow transit and the constipation variant of IBS, as it showed fecalisation of my small intestine. My main symptom was straining to poo all the time plus stomach pain, bloating and nausea. Still trying to get relief from my symptoms, though. You have my sympathies and good luck with it!
Hi there. Did they give you any treatment for the slow transit and pain?
Well they said they gave me sedative and pain killers but they seemed to be in such a rush that I'm not sure it even had a chance to take effect!
Well my Consultant prescribed first Prucalopride and then Linaclotide, but neither had any effect. Then he suggested I try laxatives - Movicol and then Bisacodyl - both gave me violent diarrhoea, but I still had to strain and they didn’t help the bloating and other symptoms, so actually made things worse! I then decided to try and manage it myself, so I had a breath test done privately, which showed elevated methane levels, indicating a possible infection in my gut. I am now taking prebiotic and probiotic supplements, and am also taking Docusate (a stool softener laxative), which together are helping somewhat. I do still have to strain, but not quite so much, though unfortunately I now have a bad haemorrhoid and am seeing my GP about it tomorrow. My lower abdomen pain is a lot better than it was, but I do still get the bloating, wind and nausea, mostly in the evenings after eating a meal and I’m also now cutting down on fruit, which I think exacerbates my symptoms. Sorry for long answer!!
Thanks for replying. I suffer exactly the same way. I take milk of magnesia after my evening meal, just 15mls. This helps me go the next morning without straining, I always have loads of gas, especially after my evening meal and it causes me really bad pain and keeps me awake most nights. I've tried everything but nothing prevents it. I've tried not taking anything for my constipation but I still get the gas and the pain. I'm going for a colonoscopy on Thursday, so I'm hoping that they find out what's wrong. Let's know how you get on with the GP x
I might try milk of magnesia if it helps with straining. Good luck with the colonoscopy - have you not had one before? It’s tomorrow I see my GP (got confused with dates). I’ll let you know what she says, and we can swap notes!
Did you have your colonoscopy and how did it go, and what did they say? I saw my GP and she said it wasn’t a very bad haemorrhoid (but it obviously protrudes when I strain). She basically said to carry on with what I’m doing and try not to strain, until I hear from my Consultant again and see what he suggests.! It’s now two months since I had the unpleasant physiology tests he referred me for, and I haven’t even received an appointment to speak to him yet about the results, and it’s usually several months from when I get the appointment letter. So I shall persist with my regime of pre and probiotics, flaxseed on my cereal daily, (plus kiwis which I’ve added to my diet) and the docusate three times a day, as it’s definitely a lot better than it has been. Still have to strain (but not as much), but at least am now producing a reasonable quantity, rather than small pellets, when I do go. My lower abdomen pain (the visceral hypersensitivity) is greatly improved, but still get bloating and wind, especially in the evenings. Bit nervous about trying milk of magnesia, as I seem very sensitive to developing bad diarrhoea very easily. Just learning to cope with the slow transit, like everyone else, I suppose.
Hi there, yes had it 2 weeks ago, couldn't complete it because of loopy colon. Has referred me for a scan. I had a CT scan 6 months ago and the radiologist said that she had to speak to the consultant as she feels it is too soon to have another one because of radiation, she's going to phone me tomorrow to let me know what's going on. Haven't heard from consultant yet, but he sent a prescription to my GP for amitrityline which I have already tried and made my constipation worse! I'm still in constant pain and don't seem to be getting anywhere.
Hi Amanda. The same thing happened to me. It’s all about your genetics. Sometimes they can’t get past your sigmoid. The CT scan in no where near as bad. It’s nearly painless so don’t worry about it. I’d say the colonoscopy was a ten in pain and the CT scan was about a one. So please don’t worry. The must painful thing is getting the canular. They give you an injection of buscopan which really helps. Good luck
Oucholla. I feel for you. Stick with it, as you do need to find out what, if anything, is going on. If you can run to it, try private - I’ve had a colonoscopy on the NHS and one privately. I would not undermine the NHS procedure, the doctor was fine, but the difference in care is unbelievable. I had a ‘slot’ in the NHS diary, sat outside the procedure room, was called in, lay on the bed and was with gas/air in no time. Finished, wheeled into a recovery area whilst the next patient underwent the same procedure. Whilst I would say that the NHS staff did their best, I was not relaxed and that helps hugely when undergoing this procedure. On the other hand, I was booked in for a complete day for the private Appointment. I was given a room, things to read, a quick 10 minute spell with the consultant and then taken in my bed to the procedure room. I was able to chat to the nurse and doctor throughout , was told what was going on, and to raise a hand if I was in any discomfort. Procedure complete, was wheeled back to my room, for tea and later lunch. I left when I felt I was ready. I’m not undermining the NHS at all, they are great, but I felt that this was worth it. I do not have private medical care, but my partner and I saved enough to make this a reasonably tolerable experience.
Hello Amanda. I would suggest that you arrange another colonoscopy! Ensure that you don’t have the same operator, and have sufficient sedative, after discussion. I have had a couple which were no problem, but one would only go part way, but the doctor did not force anything, or expect me to suffer pain. This was rearrange, and all went well. I think that it was a bad day for you, and of course, it has made you very wary. I must say, and you apparently dealt with it well, the worse part is the preparation, and I often refer to it when talking to friends and now I can laugh. Before you do anything else, watch Billy Connoly’s video on having a colonoscopy, you will understand how funny the procedure can be, and not terrifying! You will find it on YouTube. Have the colonoscopy once, and put your mind at rest. You can then tell the prep story in your own personal way, probably funnier than the YouTube video. Best wishes.
You should be offered sedation, I was (live in Kent). I had problems during lock down, would have had to wait 6 months to see a gastroenterologist so decided to go for a private consultation. I paid for a CT scan at local private hospital ( cost £500) then saw consultant at same hospital a week later who looked at the scans (£250). Saved me a lot of sleepless nights. I’m a similar age to you. If you can go private I would recommend it.
Good heavens that's awful. I have had 4 Colonoscopies over the years 3 private one NHS all with sedation, to start GP had sent me for blood and stool tests pre Covid. Do you think they are playing catch up with procedures due to Covid and it was rushed? Have you not received a NHS cancer stool kit? Think you have been very unlucky. I hope you get a private consultation and your mind put at rest. Good luck🍀
Hi AmandaThat is horrendous, you poor thing.
I have had IBS C+D + Crohns for over 20 years and lost count how many colonoscopy exams and stretches I have had in the UK at my local West Midlands hospital.
I also have a very tricky bowel but have never had an experience like that. As others mentioned I had gas and air but also a cannula for sedation. Once things got too uncomfortable I hear them say more sedation then I wake up when all over. In recovery the staff were lovely and very caring bringing me a hot drink and toast before letting me go home.
The worse part for me is the prep.
Really hope you manage to get to see someone caring. Wishing you lots of luck
Thank you to everyone for all your comments and advice. Much appreciated. I am going to write a letter to my consultant (no chance of arranging another appointment at the moment) with all my questions and comments. Hopefully she will get back to me. Otherwise I guess I'll have to brave the CT colonography and hope that is more comfortable and pain free. If they do find polyps I'm assuming that another colonoscopy will be the next thing. I may go private with that if I need to. Thanks again everyone. Keep up the support and best wishes to you all.
That doesn't sound good. I had a colonoscopy in 2018 in UK. I was given Fentanyl, and although I was awake, there was no pain or discomfort at all. I was a bit 'high' for the rest of the day though
Wow! I'm just hearing that the patient ought to have been sedated. My experience was very painful, clearly my worst day of the year. The preparation was terrible. I had to take solutions of epsom salt 3 times. It emptied my bowels and induced vomiting on my empty stomach (that almost made me call my sister to come and have my pin and passwords). During the endoscopy, it was also hard to fart out the gas being pumped. Let me spare you from the gross details. I felt tortured. But the compensation was the discovery of the polyp in my transverse colon. Unfortunately, I don't even know what to advise. I'm just sharing my experience and hope that your next trial will be successful, be it the CT scan.
Hi, I’m sorry you went through all that, I really get it, I was the same, I had 5 lots of sedative,(he may as well have had it for all the good it did) I was no way sedated, anyway they sent me for a ct colonoscopy and it was so so so much better, no pain , nothing, it just felt like they put a small balloon in my butt then apparently put some air in, I really really felt nothing at all, I’d opt for that any day, Anyway it was all clear, but I still have the same problem, but I’m gonna leave it for a while and see how it goes, good luck, I promise you though that the ct colonoscopy is a doddle compared to the normal colonoscopy xx
i am so sorry you had to go through that. it was torture. i live in manhattan and get medicare plus pay about 180 a month of supplemental insurance. i am old ,77 and always worry about running out money. i had no trouble with the procedure because i was put out. please save some money and have complete sedation. you don't need that agony.take care,
I don't really understand why you just had gas and air. I had the same NHS procedure and they gave me an intravenous pain relief. A few years ago they used to give an option of a GA, but with Covid and the recovery time required afterwards I don't think that they have that option available anymore. Either way, if you're awake, even with intravenous pain relief it's not fun having a camera crew stuck up the jacksie!
I had it with sedation it was unbearable that was U.K...the sedati.in France it’s general aneasthetic the consultant said with over sixties it’s easier to do a aesthetic as invariably more likely to have polyps to be removed.....I sympathize totally......I’d go private and tell ure tale and ask if there is anywhere they do GA.The sedation did nothing..to help as far as I was concerned .yes the guy was grumpy with me and carried on after I said stop too......
I have had many colonoscopy procedures and have always been under “light” anesthesia .
I had a failed colonoscopy last year. In my case it was because the prep failed so my colon wasn’t empty. I had two colonoscopies cancelled previously because I didn’t respond to the prep so it was deemed unsuitable in my case.
I was referred for a CT scan which was a completely different experience from a colonoscopy. I had to consume some sort of opaque dye the day before and I was given Picolax which predictably I didn’t respond to, but that didn’t matter so much as it did for the colonoscopy. As the CT is essentially taking a sort of photograph – more like an xray- they did manage to get enough information. It didn’t matter so much that I wasn’t completely “empty”. It was all over and done with very quickly.
The only problem with the CT scan is that they are not so good for small polyps if you have any, and of course it would not be possible to remove them either, as would be the case with the colonoscopy. I would say just go for the CT and see how you get on. They do pump you up with a little bit with air for the purposes of getting the images but other than that it’s a lot less invasive.
I went private and was given a sedative that completely knocked me out so I was asleep for the whole procedure, also had no problems afterwards, was in and out of Ross hall hospital in 3 hrs and eating a light meal straight away. I had no luck on Nhs so just went private straight away to see colo rectal specalist. The guy was amazing. Just an idea but have you tried adding pumpkin daily to diet , helped me no end with loo problems, can buy in a can on Amazon.
Hi. I have considered going private. I think I’ll go for the colonography and if it shows I need to go for another colonoscopy I’ll go private. I can’t deal with that pain again. It was like a colonoscopy conveyor belt! Consultant not bothered about bedside manner. 🙄
Hi Amanda, had exactly the same experience as you in April last year. Had so called sedation and then gas and air. Neither worked. The pain was excruciating. To add insult to injury after the procedure a nurse told me that before me they had done a 90 year old woman with no problems. This made me feel ashamed about myself. I am 70. In retrospect I think I should have reported the nurse but I just slunk out of the hospital in shame. This is the first time I have told anyone this - even my close family don’t know.
Until reading your post didn’t realise others have had the same reaction.
Wasn’t offered any alternative.
Consultants letter just said they couldn’t complete procedure because of pain.
Will never have another colonoscopy- I think the whole procedure is barbaric but, if I were you, I would have the CT scan.
Doctor sent me for colonoscopy because of rectal bleed and he said no evidence of piles. Guess what, 3 months later more bleeding and lovely piles easily treat with anusol!
Sorry for the long post.
Best wishes and good luck with whatever you decide.
Ok lve had few colonoscopy an bin sedated each time no problems today lm having ct colonography today if anything is found on this l will still have to have colonoscopy to take biopsy hopefully (lm praying it's clear) it will be fine! Blood detected in fit test preceded this
I also had a colonoscopy which was too painful so it was stopped, even though I said to carry on as certainly didn't want to go through it again, but she wouldn't continue. She said would recommend CT which I subsequently had and as Toobloated66 said, it was a doddle compared to the colonoscopy, it really was. Not uncomfortable yes because of the air but certainly not painful. I would go for the CT and if anything found then ask if GA available on NHS or go private if you can. Good luck.
I had the scan and it was fine. They put a small tube up your bum for a bit of air which does not hurt at all - and I am beyond anxious! They did the scan because colonoscopies terrify me. Gave me a dye injection which made me feel like I'd wet myself (I hadn't and they did tell me it would happen) and this went in literally a minute. Please don't worry about it because there really is no need. I know Gastrografin has had bad reviews on here but it's better than the volume of prep you have to drink before a colonoscopy. I had a very small bottle to drink 3 times during the day. I took my knitting into the bathroom and stayed there 😂
Pain? You were awake? No anesthesia? Both times I had propofol, best nap ever.
So, a bit of an update on the "Failed Colonoscopy"! My GP called me yesterday to give me the results! Well, I told her it was a failure so there couldn't be any! Apparently they did manage as far as the bend! Nothing found. So excellent. I've managed to get a FIT test (first one even though I should have had 2 by now as I'm 64) and I've rebooked my blood tests now that vials available again. So progress.....
I also mentioned to my GP that my BM's and stools had been markedly better since the horrid prep for the colonoscopy. She said she had heard other patients finding that they improved after the laxative treatment. I'm beginning to think I don't have IBS-D. My stools are probably Bristol poo chart 3 and occasionally 6. I don't have any pain anywhere. But I do go at least 3 times a day. Once when I get up, after breakfast and either about 10.30am or after lunch. After that I'm fine until the following morning. I also have to go straight away, even though I don't necessarily have Diarrhea. Any ideas anyone what it could be??
Not what you're looking for?
You may also like...
and bleeding resulting in my doctor referring me for a colonoscopy. So today was the big day and...
I’m having my first ever colonoscopy next Wednesday 22nd. I have an afternoon...
the above tests next week, I have had them before but over 7 years ago, I wondered if anyone had...
request a colonoscopy, which I am having privately.
Anyway, for those that have had a colonoscopy,...
completely knocked out, I have a small bum and I know I'll experience pain with the procedure...