Easiest Colonoscopy Ever!

My doctor’s instructions, said that I could eat regular meals before the day of clear liquids only.

Instead I spent the 2 days before the clear liquid diet eating chicken and rice soup (with extra rice), and chicken with noodle soup (with extra noodles), also bananas, melon, and some bland foods (bread,or a slice of turkey for example). Then on the day before the colonoscopy, I started the clear liquids on schedule.

The ‘night of explosions’ still had the god-awful-suprep liquid, but no nausea, no explosive diarrhea, no bloating, cramping, or dashes to the can at the last minute, nor did I have to spend hours on the toilet reading a book. Things just progressed with plenty of warning.

I don’t know if I’m just lucky or I stumbled on a way to get my gut ready for lift off, but the whole experience was positively sedate. 4 years ago, it was a trip to hell. This was better.

Also, I found butterscotch hard candies really help get the suprep taste out of your mouth.

Just thought I’d pass my experience along.

Good for you.

My last colonoscopy tore my colon and gave me peritonitis, undiagnosed for more than a day. This carries about a 28% mortality risk, by the way. I spent a week in the hospital and now I look like a football, with a huge seam up the middle. At least I didn’t need the colostomy.

And I’m due for the next one this year…

My doctor said he always recommends that people follow a low-residue diet for a few days before the prep, and that he did it himself.

(He’s still trying to get me to do it. :o )

When I worked at the grocery store pharmacy, I had an elderly Italian woman squeal “Mama Mia!” when I brought her prep to the checkout. :eek:

I didn’t mind the prep for mine but I misunderstood the instructions and didn’t have a dedicated chaperone or driver there with me when I showed up to the hospital. The staff was about to cancel the appointment and reschedule when I told them to ask the doctor about doing it without anesthesia.

That is rarely done in the U.S. because it is very painful but he had just worked with me in the ER a few weeks before and knew that I have a really high pain tolerance and am medically cooperative so he did it with no pain medication for the first time in his career.

It hurt like hell during certain parts but most of it wasn’t that bad. It mainly just feels like the worst internal cramps that you can ever imagine but only for a few seconds at a time. The benefit is that you can watch the procedure yourself on the monitor and, when it’s over, it’s over. You can just get up, drive home and go about the rest of your day like nothing happened.

I wouldn’t recommend having a colonoscopy without anesthesia to the average person but it is a good way to test your pain management and meditation skills if you have a really high pain tolerance.

I don’t think it’s so rare - I had mine without meds a few weeks ago, and the doc said she does it a few times a year.

I’m not trying to be heroic, but I wouldn’t describe the experience as “very painful”. More like uncomfortable pressure for periods of several seconds, 3 or 4 times, which correspond to the scope getting around the corners on the way in. The rest of the time, really nothing at all.

As you say, it was worth it to be fully aware of what you can see on the screen, and to avoid the hassle of recovery. And provided you have someone to take you home, it’s not an all-or-nothing decision, they can get sedation on board in no time if you change your mind mid-procedure.

From what I have I read in medical studies, colonoscopies without anesthesia are less than 1% of those done in the U.S. Many of those are done for medical reasons like anesthesia risks to the patient. That qualifies as rare in my opinion. It is much more common in other countries but rarely breaks 20%.

I didn’t mean to imply that it was that bad overall because it wasn’t (it is kind of fascinating as a matter of fact). As you probably experienced yourself, you just get these weird, deep cramps when the doc blows air deep inside your hooter but it doesn’t last very long. I think the anesthesia is more for the benefit of the doctor and nurses than the patient. A lot of people react very badly to unexpected pain and a colonoscopy is not a procedure where you want people rolling around or flinching just because they experience pain and get scared. Plenty of people are terrified to go to the dentist after all. It could be much worse if someone panics when they have literal feet of lines and tools carefully squirmed up their ass.

When I need to get another one, I am going to do it without anesthesia again but I don’t think it is for everyone.

Had my first one last year, no anesthesia. Definitely some moderate discomfort, but nothing that left me traumatized for weeks or months afterward. The only real problem I had was walking back downtown afterward, bloated with air; even though I was empty of all waste substances thanks to the prep, I was dead sure that if I let fly I was going to shit my pants.

The worst part of the prep was the stuff I had to drink; it tasted like stale water and invariably made me gag. The doctors had provided me with some dietary tips and tricks for the day or two before starting the prep regimen, and I had no particularly horrific episodes once the regimen started. Just a lotta dirty water (dun dun dunt – OW, Boston you’re my home…)

Being awake and alert during the procedure allowed me to watch the whole procedure on the monitor, which was interesting. It also provided the funniest moment of the experience - for some reason, on the monitor they showed my middle name (which was my father’s first name) as my first name. So for one brief moment before the probe went in, there was an image of my anal sphincter labeled with my father’s name.

“First accurate portrait of the man I’ve ever seen,” I thought to myself.

I had one last year for the first time and there was absolutely nothing wrong with the drink from the prep day. It was literally just a large bottle of Mirilax powder that had no taste. I believe they had me mix it with Gatorade, not water. It didn’t do anything to the taste of the Gatorade.

Are there different types of drinks for different types of colonoscopies?

I “woke up” during my procedure and it was in fact painful. With bloating and stuff.

I wonder how common colonoscopy complications arise… My mother in-law (60) developed sepsis after her annually required colonoscopy last year. She went into septic shock, many organs shut down, and she damn near died. Doctors prepared our family for her impending death. She was in the ICU for a couple of weeks. Somehow she survived.

She is due for her next one soon, but will likely not be going through with it, she is terrified. Just wondering whether the risk is really worth it.

Honestly, did not realize going without knock-out gas was an option. I’m 52, so a couple of years overdue for my first up-the-butt viewing party. I’ve procrastinated it mostly because of the issue of having to have someone to be with me during recovery, and drive me home afterwards. Not something to take lightly in a friendship, IMHO.

I think I have a pretty high pain threshold, mainly because I’ve had multiple tattoos and never even flinched. Probably not the same kind of pain, though.

Still, I’ll talk to my doc about going med-free.

A previous thread I started on colonoscopies while conscious.

Sorry, Marion, I know it’s been a full week but I had a tough time finding a “Congratulations on Your Easy Colonoscopy!” card. I hope this onewill do.

I know a woman who is at very high risk for colon cancer, and has to have hers done without anesthesia; not sure why. They do give her a light sedative but she has to be conscious so she can cooperate with the doctor.

Another woman told me that she was willing to pay an extra $200 out of pocket to have her scope done at the hospital vs. the outpatient surgery center when she found out that there was a 1:1000 chance of the scope perforating her colon. :eek: As it happened, she had no complications but she wanted to have it done there.

Ugh. I am scheduled for a colonoscopy at the end of this month. Without anesthesia. Wish me luck.

What’s the thinking behind “without anesthesia”? Was that your decision or theirs?

I, for one, welcome our new anesthetist overlords.

ETA: Good luck!

I don’t have anybody to drive/escort me.

I’d drive you in if I lived nearby, Rick Kitchen.

I’ve always thought that providing a service of driving people to these types of appointments is a business opportunity. Pretending to the medical staff that you’re the husband/wife/neighbor/best friend of the patient would be part of the service offered. There are a lot of people hitting the colonoscopy years, so you’d think this might work.

Or you could just use Cologuard instead, like I always pop in to post in these threads.

I really should schedule mine soon. I am 53. Thanks for the reminder.

Can you use an Uber or other taxi service?

No, the driver has to stay with you.