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Colonoscopy painful? Do we get put to sleep?

26 Jun 2016 10:00 in response to davek

I had a colonoscopy a few weeks ago and I was also terrified at the thought (I really am a big wimp ).

I had the sedation and relaxed immediately and I can honestly say it was absolutely nowhere near as awful as I thought I have had lots of things done in the last few weeks and the colonoscopy would be one of the things I will never worry about having again x

Good luck xx

Colonoscopy painful? Do we get put to sleep?

27 Jun 2016 18:59 in response to goldielocks

Hi Julie,

I felt compelled to reply to your response as it was like reading my own experience last Tuesday word for word. I couldn't have put it any better, I too have a tumour and I felt going by that part agonising.  Can I ask how you are now as I am awaiting results of my CT scan.

kind regards


Colonoscopy painful? Do we get put to sleep?

30 Jun 2016 20:54 in response to Deana

On Wednesday I was asked to take two sachets of Picolax for my Colonoscopy which wasn't as sickly as I thought it was going to be, it tastes lemony. Today I had my Colonoscopy and I can say, hand on heart that it was not painful. I really don't know why I was so worried. I was given light sedation and oxygen and it was over before I knew it. Recovery was quick and I was allowed to go home an hour after it finished. Was given special shorts to wear to spare my modesty and felt very relaxed and secure in what was being done. Glad I went ahead with it.

Colonoscopy painful? Do we get put to sleep?

30 Jun 2016 23:09 in response to KMM


Well done! We know how much apprehension you had, but you overcame that and went ahead despite your fears.

Good luck with your results


Colonoscopy painful? Do we get put to sleep?

1 Jul 2016 13:44 in response to davek

Thanks Dave. Got my results straight away as everything was normal. They didn't need to take any biopsies and was told my bowel looked extremely healthy and there wasn't anything there that shouldn't polyps or growths etc. The bleeding they say comes from an internal haemorrhoid that I had many years ago but cleared up with medication back then. It appears to have slightly flared up and that's what caused the bleeding I had. As for the pain and bloating, my GP has booked me in for an ultra sound scan of my pelvis to see if that brings up any answers....if nothing then I'll try a change of diet to rule out intolerances or allergies.

Colonoscopy painful? Do we get put to sleep?

30 Jul 2016 20:06 in response to KMM

Regarding prep.

I have had procedures with citrimag and gastrofin without problems although some discomfort.The poly glycol stuff though caused me to vomit with the first mouthful with an hour of dry retching to follow.In the waiting room however there was one individual happily swigging it down, although he did look as though he could wrestle a crocodile with one arm while biting the head off a bear.

That procedure was cancelled, i had to wait a couple of hours for discharge while my heart rate went back to normal.

First procedure with entonox was agony and also cancelled.

Biggest problem i had was with no one to take me home.Although there are various volounteer driver options available, they have to be able to stay with you for 24 hours or so to care so they are not considered suitable by the hospital (basically a taxi service).

Fenatanyl + midozlam.I think the purpose of the midzolam is to make you forget, i did not, and it hurt.I believe that in Norway and one of the London teaching hospitals the sedation part is omitted and just the painkiller is given. Not being the nervous type (ignore my sig) i would have preferred this option as it avoids the need for a chaperone (i was told but not sure of this).

Someone here mentioned that general anathsesia could be had, despite asking this was not an available option, i suspect because it requires bed space, i am awaiting a different procedure elswhere for another couple of biopsies for the same reason (no chaperone).I now have to wait for another investigation as i know there is something that needs to be removed.

From reading about, everyone is different and has different experiences.However having known someone lost to bowel cancer i would suggest it is much better to bite the bullet and get it done asap.Until you have it done there is no way of knowing if yours is going to me an easy or difficult one.

Get all the drugs you can and see how it goes.Shout load enough and they will stop the procedure.


Colonoscopy painful? Do we get put to sleep?

2 Sep 2016 01:32 in response to goldielocks
Is the sedation with an injection

Colonoscopy painful? Do we get put to sleep?

21 Oct 2017 14:57 in response to anonymous8910

I have had two colonoscopies and both were extremely painful. I was in tears both times. My surgeon told me that the NHS can only give you a certain amount of sedation in which a painkiller is also used. For me, it did not work in the slightest.. I found it an awful test and hope I never have to have another one. The enema drink also made me nauseous and was up all night rushing to the loo. The hospital staff from surgeon to receptionist were the best. 

Colonoscopy painful? Do we get put to sleep?

17 Dec 2017 14:13 in response to sammy87
Mine was awful. I remember everything so I guess the sedative didn't work for me at all! They had to stop half way through because they couldn't get the camera past the scar tissue of diverticulitis and I was in so much pain. Now got to have CT cologram, so more carbon dioxide being pumped into me again. I am not looking forward to it at all - rather have all my teeth pulled! Maybe it's because I have constant tummy pain that it's been worse for me. The gas still hasn't gone since I had the colonoscopy and I'm feeling really fed up about it all. Tried everything, peppermint tea, brisk walks, exercising, nothing works.

Colonoscopy painful? Do we get put to sleep?

17 Dec 2017 14:16 in response to never again

Exactly the same experience I had, dreading having the CT cologram, more air pumped with no sedative. I would gladly NOT have it done, but I have no choice!

Colonoscopy painful? Do we get put to sleep?

17 Dec 2017 14:18 in response to anonymous8910

It's just a sedative, you are awake.

Colonoscopy painful? Do we get put to sleep?

19 Dec 2017 18:31 in response to Shelleys

U made myself not well with worry before my colonoscopy 

i can honesty say the prep was to horrible bit mind u I watched what I ate about 2 weeks before I went 

The colonoscopy wasn't to bad I had sedative I was awake I felt pain a little bit when going round corner bit noting like I was expecting its the fear of the unknown that got to me I think 

Colonoscopy painful? Do we get put to sleep?

10 Feb 2018 11:56 in response to expat99
I have one booked in 10 days time. After reading this link (Ive only just stopped laughing) Im barely worried about it at - but will be glad when its done.

Colonoscopy painful? Do we get put to sleep?

11 Feb 2018 20:04 in response to helca




Hi helca 

i had mines 27th Nov 

i was worried sick about getting one done I made myself ill what I done was cut out all the food on the list  the week before plus I cut down what I was eating 

The movie prep was not nice the first litre was ok I managed that ok I started with going 40 mins after plus I had a pile at the time but wasn't sore at all the 2nd lot of movi prep I struggled with big time  I was sick with it but only once I went to hospital thinking please have taken enough didn't want this to take again PHEW it was enough I had taken thank goodness 

The colonoscopy itself was ok I took the sedative I felt it going round corner at one bit was lik a cramp but I was nothing like I thought it was going to be

good luck with yours













Colonoscopy painful? Do we get put to sleep?

6 Apr 2018 14:42 in response to samdougie

I'm just back from my colonoscopy.

The diarrhoea before hand honestly didn't bother me - took around 45 mins to start kicking in, and I just watched Netflix all day long (pausing Better Call Saul for visits to loo as necessary).

No pain or discomfort caused by the meds and the hardest part was not eating for what ended up nearly 36 hours. (One guy had the nurse tearing his hair out as he'd fasted for almost 2 days and then had 2 rolls and sausage that morning. He thought it was ok to eat on the day...)

The procedure was itself was fine. I really wasn't looking forward to it, but needn't have worried. I was offered gas, sedation or nothing. I took the gas, but tbh I think it just made me feel slightly dizzy. There was a bit of discomfort when the cam went round the corners, but even that was no worse than trapped wind or a bit of constipation. The staff were great. 

However, the end result was that they couldn't get the cam right to the end of the bowel as it wasn't entirely clear. It turned out that an admin mix up meant that I had been given Movi-prep to take, which the nurse said wasn't very good, and should have been given Kleen-prep. They were a bit embarassed, and I was disappointed, not least because I'd taken two days off work, built up for it and now have to go through it again. Still, I'm not concerned about it now. I learned I have diverticulus which has probably been the cause of the symptoms I had. I'll go back for another go and expect to sail through it.

I'd just like to stress that there's nothing to worry about - no pain, just weird sensations, and I wished I'd just driven there. Lesson learned.