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Re: Colonoscopy painful? Do we get put to sleep

1 Sep 2011 19:17 in response to sammy87


I have had several and found them more uncomfortable than painful...the guys assertions that the risk of not having it far outweigh the risks for having it are definately correct. It is very very unfortunate that they have to inform you of the risks, frankly they do so as a precaution to cover themselves. The risks are no more dangerous than taken a tablet....If you look at some of the pain relief medications and read through the sheet of paper that comes neatly folded in the packet you would never take another pill.

As for complete sedation, it is not advisable as they need to get you to move about and the sedation they give you enables you to be up and about in 10-20 mins.  You can have the sedation or take gas and air....I have tried both and are equally effective.

Please do not worry if you can, this is a scary time and we all understand what you are going through...however for some reason the cup of tea and the biscuits afterwards are the best ever, maybe something to do with not eating for a while.

All the very best, keep coming on here to let us know how you get on.

Much Love

Tony xxxx

Re: Colonoscopy painful? Do we get put to sleep

1 Sep 2011 19:52 in response to TonySong

Not sure what terms they use in the UK - when I had a colonoscopy I was offered 'twilight' anaesthetic where apparently you can respond to instructions to move etc. but you won't remember any of it.  Suited me fine.  I have a friend who insisted I had lost a wonderful opportunity to see what my colon looked like on the inside by choosing to be anaesthetised - frankly I leave all that to the experts!  But if you prefer not to have anaesthetic it's your choice.  Good luck!

Re: Colonoscopy painful? Do we get put to sleep

1 Sep 2011 23:43 in response to expat99

Hi expat,

I remember when I had mine (or not) that I said after it had finished that I didn't think the sedation had worked...the nurse replied that I should have been where she was (up by my head) as apparently my eyes were rolling about as I was out of it. I also thought it was over in about 2 mins when it had been about 10. Good stuff!

T x

Re: Colonoscopy painful? Do we get put to sleep

3 Sep 2011 13:19 in response to TonySong

The other thing to think about when opting for sedation or not is how to get home... I was told that I could not drive until the following day if I had the twilight sedation; however good I felt my insurance would be void if I had an accident.  Took public transport to the hospital and my husband was able to pick me up afterwards.  Another thing to consider.

good luck!

Re: Colonoscopy painful? Do we get put to sleep

5 Sep 2011 16:27 in response to sammy87

Hi Sammy87

     My number is on the private bit if you want to talk


Re: Colonoscopy painful? Do we get put to sleep

5 Sep 2011 22:52 in response to georgemcc

Hi Sammy,

When you are ready please let us know how you are getting on.

Much Love

T xxxx

Re: Colonoscopy painful? Do we get put to sleep

22 Jan 2013 13:59 in response to expat99

I had a colonoscopy yesterday at Plymouth and even with sedation, it was the most painful thing I have ever experienced.  Was so relieved when it was over.  My husband had one 3 weeks ago and only had mild discomfort.

Re: Colonoscopy painful? Do we get put to sleep

23 Jan 2013 18:45 in response to sammy87

Hi Sammy

I can only share my daughters experience. Firstly she was very apprehensive about having the proceedure and wanted to be put under general anasthetic . She was told the risk of perforating the bowel was greater this way as when u are awake they get an indication of how you are ( pain etc). My daughter had the proceedure last Friday with pethadine and sedative.

They had to stop the proceedure without taking required biopsies at a very tricky corner due to the amount of pain my daughter was in it was very dissapointing. He said they tried a few tricks more painkiller etc but had to judge how much discomfort is acceptable against when to stop incase damage is done!

I hope yours goes well everyone is diffeent please don't be afraid to ask your doctor questions or take someone for support!

All the best Ann

Colonoscopy painful? Do we get put to sleep?

14 Jul 2015 16:30 in response to sammy87

Guess I'm lucky but can honestly say never felt a thing had sedative and pain relief slept thro most of it prep day fine as well did a three day no fibre diet one day fluids only felt good only bad bit was in night headache sickness felt rotten couple glasses of water seemed to sort it wouldn't hesitate to have another my results normal couple of small haemoroids had caused my worrying bleeding good luck folks don't worry it's fine

Colonoscopy painful? Do we get put to sleep?

16 Jul 2015 23:18 in response to sammy87

Just had a colonoscopy and thought I'd share my honest experience.

I arrived at hospital and was taken to have blood pressure taken.  Nurse was lovely and very reassuring. I then went to a small ward and dressed in gown, patients were there who had been 'done'.

After a short while I was taken to the treatment room. There were 2 nurses and 1 Dr. All very nice. for the procedure.  I am a huge coward when it comes to anything medical so I was petrified!

The moviprep laxatives (which were taken previously) did not taste nice but certainly worked. All in all it was fine.

I was given a sedative and pain killer (injected). The colonoscopy lasted exactly 25 mins. It was not sore being entered, half way through I had about 10 mins of sore cramps.  Similar to bad wind. I did not feel the camera moving around and was unaware he had taken several biopsies.  I was awake throughout.

All over, what a relief! I was then returned to ward for about 40 mins where the nurses checked my blood pressure every 10 mins. During this time, I still had bad wind type pains. Although I have to admit, these passed once the wind was released!

My husband drove me home, by the time I arrived home and had 'released wind' again I was fine.

So, it was not nice but certainly nothing like I had imagined. If I had to go through it again I would not look forward to it but would not worry.

Overall, prep was OK (just stay close to loo). Procedure was not nearly as bad as I'd imagined, 10 mins of bad wind pains. Recovery was quick, only experienced about 40 mins of wind pains.

TIPS: Keep baby wipes handy in the loo, and wear loose fitting clothes for journey home. Also, drink something you like in between the moviprep (almost like a treat).

Good luck ..really hope this helps as I read lots of reviews which varied from Rambo (its a schoosh) to some people who told horrific stories which petrified me!

Colonoscopy painful? Do we get put to sleep?

17 Jul 2015 08:08 in response to Mrs W

I am a real coward and asked for a general anaesthetic both times I had a colonoscopy.  Same with my hysteroscopy, usually you just have to ask.

Colonoscopy painful? Do we get put to sleep?

16 Oct 2015 22:24 in response to dad1929

I just received an appointment for a colonoscopy, but- perhaps foolishly- cancelled it. I'm not worried about the preparation, because I suffer from severe from diarrhoea on a regular basis anyway. However I am nervous about the procedure. I'm well aware of the importance of having the investigation, but I would much prefer to have a general anaesthetic.

Colonoscopy painful? Do we get put to sleep?

16 Oct 2015 22:28 in response to lioness

That is the problem; everyone is different, and you never know how it will affect you as an individual.


Colonoscopy painful? Do we get put to sleep?

17 Oct 2015 16:27 in response to Drained

I have had 2 colonoscopies and 2 hysteroscopies, all done under general anaesthetic. I am an absolute coward and would not have had any procedure like that unless I was completely out of it.  Each time I have had no after effects, pain, etc.  The doctors have always said it was my absolute right to have a general anaesthetic if that was what I wanted.

Colonoscopy painful? Do we get put to sleep?

27 Oct 2015 14:39 in response to sammy87

I had a colonoscopy a couple of years ago with just sedation and it was extremely painful, I never want that pain again, so the next one I have will be under general anaethetic. My pain threshold is quite high, but the pain of thios colonoscopy was worse than childbirth. Every one is different and it depends on their condition, I have had ulcerative colitis for 20 years and my colon is not in great shape, which would account for the pain during the procedure. For some people just having sedation may be ok. 

Further to this post,I had the colonoscopy done in late October 2015,I had general anaesthetic(put out completely),and  I must say it was such a improvement on the last one I had done with just sedation which was so painful.The great thing about having general anaesthetic is that you know when you wake up it will be all over with no pain at all. The recovery was fine and having someone collect you from the hospital is not such a big deal. I am so glad I had it done under general. I also was told by the consultant the reason my first colonoscopy was so painful. I had a full hystorectomy to treat ovarian cancer, and part of that surgery removed part of the bowel. He said that with this sort of surgery, the bowel will generally  be replaced at an awkward angle for colonoscopy and endoscopy, which may explain why some people have little pain and some have a lot during colonocopy.  You have a right to ask for general anaesthetic and I beleive it is wel worth any very small risks involved.