A colonoscopy is a medical procedure that allows imaging of the lower bowels so a doctor can make a diagnosis by actually looking for physical problems or defects. The procedure involves inserting a flexible camera into the lower bowel via the anus. Usually the doctor will also take biopsy samples while inspecting the bowel. Colonoscopies are usually done either under sedation or anesthesia.
- Getting A Colonoscopy
- Is a Colonoscopy Uncomfortable?] To some extent, yes, it can be an uncomfortable experience. I don't think many people enjoy the thought of having something put up their anus. However informing yourself and planning out the procedure ahead of time will help mitigate some of the discomfort both mentally & physically. Experiences vary, some people have a very smooth experience without any hiccups, others are more difficult. It's best to try to have an open mind and to not assume that the worst will happen. Since the colonoscopies are done under sedation or local anesthesia you will more than likely not remember the procedure. If you really want to make sure you're out cold and have little chance of remembering anything of the procedure then you may ask your doctor for local anesthesia. Local anesthesia does carry more chance of side effects(one of which is getting sick to your stomach afterwards). Depending on your health conditions you may or may not be the best candidate for local anesthesia. Sedation can be quite powerful. I opted to be sedated due to my fears of being sick to my stomach afterward and my doctor originally suggested it. However, if you are extremely anxious over this, it would be best to discuss it with your doctor and let them know your feelings. They will be best to advise you of the health risks involved with either of these options. Make sure you are getting at least one or the other. If your doctor suggests you have a colonoscopy without either sedation or local anesthesia & cannot give you a reasonable medical reason why, then drop them & find a different doctor. The process starts with you having a consultation with your GI(Gastrointestinal/Gastroenterologist) doctor. This is usually just a meet & greet type of session. They might feel around your abdomen to check for signs of pain. They'll then probably want to schedule a time to do the procedure. In some cases, if you also have upper digestion problems, they may also want to do an upper endoscopy on your stomach(EGD). You may have your own stigma attached to which of these triggers more of a fear. For me, I have Emetophobia(fear of being sick to your stomach) and an EGD was much more terrifying to me than a colonoscopy, I still had it done though & indeed survived. When you show up to the hospital or digestion center to have the procedure you'll get checked in & there might be paper work to sign. You may get one of those nifty bracelets with your name on it. Your doctor should be there and will probably meet with you ahead of time in the pre-op(operations) area. You'll need someone to come with you who can be responsible for you because you may be disoriented after the procedure due to sedation. When the time comes to start the procedure, you'll be wheeled into the operating room where all the gadgets are. I am not really a fan of these places, hospital instruments can be somewhat scary. Relax though, take a deep breath. Think happy thoughts and before long you'll be sedated or put under anesthesia. If you're having an EGD done as well, the doctor may spray your throat with a numbing solution. Doesn't taste that great and may not help a whole lot. You'll more than likely be introduced to the staff who will be helping your doctor with the procedure. If you have concerns that you will be conscious at any part during the procedure, let it be known. You can tell the Anesthesiologist to make sure you're out cold. I at first thought they had put the sedating drugs in my IV before wheeling me into the operating room. I was very wrong because the Anesthesiologist let me know when they were putting the drugs into my IV line & it was very obvious that my eyes were not going to stay open very long once that happened. I do not remember much of the procedure. I do remember gagging somewhat when having my EGD done. Also I remember some pressure and bloated feelings while the colonoscopy was going on. If you feel that you are waking up or you are in discomfort make it known. Grunt or make some noise and they will put more drugs in your line to knock you back out. That may make it sound worse than it was, but keep in mind, of a 45 minute procedure I remember maybe 45 seconds of discomfort. Before I knew it, I was trying to open my eyes in the recovery area(though failing initially because the sedation made me feel so tired). The actual procedure itself was nothing compared to the hours of preparation I had done before.[section_title title=After The Colonoscopy
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. Using this information is at your own risk.