Getting a Colonoscopy
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Getting a Colonoscopy
Now that I'm 50, I'm facing my first colonoscopy and am
getting nervous. Actually, I'm getting nervous about getting
nervous.. I've had several panic attacks in the past, maybe 4
in a 25 year span. But in between, I have had many almost panic
attacks where I feel the symptoms start to mount and I'm able
to get through it without feeling like I'm having a total heart
attack. Most recently I felt this panicky feeling while the
dentist was drilling my teeth. I'm afaid I'll also freak out at
the colonoscopy appt because I don't seem to be able to handle
anxiety about medical procedures very well. I was hoping some
kind souls in the BPN community might have some calming words
for me. Thank you!
I laughed in complete sympathy when I read your post! Just a couple of
weeks ago in
the span of one week I had both a root canal and a colonoscopy - talk
about getting it
from all sides! The colonoscopy was a complete non-event! The prep for
the yucky drink and not eating solids for 24 hours) is a nuisance but
procedure was nothing. I went under a light general anesthesia and woke
(as my dr
had told me I would) just as they were finishing. I felt totally fine
worked the rest of the day. It took a few days for my digestive system
but that was a very minor side effect. Good luck - you will do fine!
I am the BIGGEST coward when it comes to medical/dental anything
on the entire planet. Who the practitioner is, is very
important. That being said...I too was 'freaked out' (beyond
anxious) about having a colonoscopy. I googled everything I
could. I spoke with every friend I had who had had one. I found
out what 'preps' are the worst and the least worst. ..and across
the board everyone said the same thing, the day before is the
worst thing about the procedure. You have the option of being
awake, or being out when the colonoscopy is performed. I have
had two and been asleep both times. Do your homework on the
preps (the fluids/pills you'll take the day before). Rent some
good videos. Get magazines and WIPES with aloe for the bathroom.
Plan on staying home, and close to the bathroom. Drink lots of
fluids (they will tell you what you can have....heed what they
say) I opted for the pills and the (2) 3 ounce bottles of Fleet.
It is foul tasting, they all are..but I learned to bite down on
a piece of lemon, and when your cheeks pucker from the sour,
drink the fluid. DO NOT EAT THE LEMON PULP. I pretended I was on
fear factor and the prize was my health. It will be ok. Honest.
I recommend hypnotherapy for both your concerns -- colonoscopy
and dental work -- it has worked wonders for me. Mani Feniger
510-528-1130 in Albany, who has also written a book about
phobias ''Crossing the Bridge From Fear to Freedom'' -- is
amazing! Hypnosis is not about giving over control to someone
else, but about using your own inner resources and I think of
the hypnotherapist as a sort of coach. Loie Rosenkrantz (849-
4283) in Berkeley worked with me many years ago in preparation
for gum surgery. At our only session, she made me a tape that
I played during the surgery and every time I had dental work
done for at least 10 years. It calmed me so that I was able to
tolerate even deep cleanings, which had always frightened me
terribly. Now I listen to classical music while the dentist
works on me. There are many practitioners of hypnotherapy, but
these two women have helped me personally be able to function
despite my ''dental terrors'', fear of invasive medical
procedures and fear of travelling. Pharmacological help -- such
as xanax, which is a short-acting tranquilizer related to
Valium -- taken in advance of a procedure -- can be helpful as
I would say there's next to no chance you'll have a panic attack during
colonoscopy. They don't exactly anesthetize you, but they put you on
relax you that is so strong that I honestly don't remember the actual
happening to me; it was almost as if I were asleep.
By far the worst part of a colonoscopy is the prep -- drinking the nasty
salt water and
having the runs for hours, all of which happens at home. And it's not
anything, just annoying.
I had my first colonoscopy about 2 years ago and was nervous,
but it was a simple procedure and I don't worry about future
ones in the least. My doctor (Ricard Sundberg at CPMC in SF)
explained everything clearly up front which helped. I actually
ended up liking the feeling of cleaning out my intestinal track
before the procedure although I'm not crazy about the taste of
gatorade which is what the doctor had me mix the fiber/laxative
(can't recall exactly what it was) powder in the day before the
procedure. I had to drink a lot of gatorade, but not all
doctors use this methodology. Colonscopies are really not a big
deal and they are such an important screening for colon cancer,
one of the ones that can be cured if you catch it early enough.
I had 2 polyps which were removed during the colonoscopy and
didn't even know it was happening (was sedated for part of the
procedure) and had no after effects. Don't worry - it's not a
big deal and you'll be glad you took care of it (the peace of
mind far outweighs the anxiety!).
Taking Care of Business
Hey Scardy Cat,
I had a colonoscopy a hear ago, after the birth of my first
child (I was 29). Put your mind at ease - the colonoscopy part
is a breeze. You will be sedated and won't remember or feel a
thing! I woke up lazily and comfortably, was offered a drink
of water, and when I was concious enough, got dressed and went
about my day. I did not have any pain/discomfort from the
In the interest of full disclosure, the discomfort one
experiences with a colonoscopy is in the preparation. Your
diet will be severely restricted the day before, and you will
be required to take a prescription laxative treatment (for
obvious reasons, your colon has to be completely empty for a
successful colonoscopy). My laxative treatment tasted
horrible, and the diarrhea was no picnic, but it's a small
price to pay for your overall health!
Don't worry - people get them every day - just do it!
I do not enjoy invasive medical procedures. So the first time I was told
to get my
colon examined, 5 years ago, I opted for the virtual colonoscopy. I was
rather neutral experience, but it was more in the negative (but not
direction. Uncomfortable sensation of wanting to defecate but can't.
While virtual is
better than nothing at all (or the dreaded sigmoidoscopy), it's not
nearly as good as
the real thing, largely because if something nasty is found, it can't be
part of the procedure.
So when the need arose again, 2 months ago, my doctor was adamant about
the real thing. I read an awful lot of comments, on various forums, from
had had one, and they all seemed to be saying the same thing: I dreaded
it, but the
heavy medication they give you truly made it not only painless, but a
non-event: no memory of it at all. I was highly skeptical. Highly! But
now I can and
do say exactly what all the others said: they gave me a pill in the
waiting room, and
I woke up later with no pain, no after-effects, and absolutely no memory
had happened. A little scary, but honestly that is how it was (and, it
would seem, for
nearly everyone else).
I have had several colonoscopies and they are honestly not that
bad. The worst part, by far, is the preparation the night
before. You have to drink like a gallon of this yucky stuff that
totally cleans you out. It's about 3 hours of serious
unpleasantness. You will need to stay very close to the
bathroom. The procedure itself is nothing compared to that! You
can ask them to give you the max sedative allowed and you'll
probably sleep through it. I actually like to be just awake
enough to watch it on the TV screen! It's really quite beautiful
and incredible to see the inside of your colon on TV. It's very
pink and actually quite attractive! If you are slightly awake
you may feel discomfort at times--like cramping, and you can just
ask them to stop for a minute. I've had to do that a few times
because apparently my colon is extra long and twisty. But it
wasn't too bad and they were willing to stop when I asked and
give me a little break. Maybe you could get there a little early
so they could start the valium or whatever they use ahead of time
so you can relax. That's the best part anyway! Good luck!
Hi Scardy Cat,
I just had the dreaded colonoscopy, I'm 43. Honestly, it was not that
I had mine done at Oakland Kaiser. Here's the deal - a day before the
you get the go-go juice and follow the instructions. After you drink it,
as a dear
friend explained, ''you poop until there are no chunks''. No kidding.
about aftershocks.Once it's out, it's out, there is nothing left. Show
up for your
appointment, do some deep breathing while waiting. Once you go in, a
will tell you what to do, like disrobe, don the gown, put your stuff in
a locker and sit
in a big comfy chair. Maybe you'll get a magazine and some lame socks.
giving you relaxing stuff via IV. (DO NOT look around at the others,
it can be frightening seeing a normally pulled together business woman
discombobulated while she wakes up from her put out drugs. Blinders,
When they transfer you to the room for the colonoscopy, the nurses
but you don't care. You lie down all cozy on your side and dream of
The Doc arrives, your almost out, you might feel a little
that tube starts traveling in the back door. Just say ''ow'' if you feel
it and they'll
increase the dream tonic. I had to have a polyp removed but would have
known it. Then you're done with that, they move you off the table and
upright chair, tell you what they did or did not find, you get dressed,
and they wheel
you out like a drunkard, all groggy and giddy. Have someone that cares
ready to pick you up and deposit you onto your couch. You can not drive,
take a bus. I really made a mountain out of a mole hill worrying about
it and wasted
time and energy that could have been better spent laughing, dancing,
fret too much - it's nowhere near as bad as our clever imaginations fear
it to be.
I'm 50 and had my colonoscopy a few months ago. Here's what
happens: the day before, you have to fast, then in the evening
you drink this stuff that gives you incredible diarrhea. The
next day you go in for the procedure, then you go home and rest.
Out of all of that, you know what's the worst? Drinking the
stuff (not the results that it brings about). It tastes like
sweetened dishwashing liquid, and you have to drink several
liters of it. Ugh. But compared to that, the colonoscopy itself
is no big deal, I swear.
Check w/ a therapist about your panic attacks. But the procedure
isn't as bad as you think. The worst part is the prep. Take
seriously the no solid food rqmt. And the stuff that you drink
tastes bad, and within about an hour or so, you'll plan to spend
the rest of the day relaxed, pretty close to a toilet, and with
nobody but the people who love you in your immediate vicinity.
You can stop drinking the stuff when everything runs clear, and
you may develop a pretty strong dislike for the taste by the end
of the day. when you're all done w/ the purge you take a warm
bath and think about how nice it is to relax and go to sleep.
Take seriously the don't eat/don't drink thing the night before
the procedure. Some people get nauseated if they eat/drink w/
anesthesia, and you shouldn't undergo it if you do eat/drink when
you're not supposed to. (nor if you neglected to do the bowel
cleansing the day before.) You'll potentially waste your time and
The procedure itself is completely anti-climactic. You'll be on
conscious anesthesia, which means you'll be awake, but you really
won't mind at all (I swear), and you won't feel a thing. The
drugs they'll give you will be a combo of a sedative like Valium
and an amnesiac, so you won't really remember the details, and an
anesthetic so you won't feel any pain or discomfort. You'll
watch your little colonoscopy movie while the doc tells you what
he sees and you might even think, ''how interesting, I should
remember this.'' and ''nice drugs.'' Not to sound weird, but it's
quite peaceful. Then you get your clothes back on, somebody
picks you up, and you spend the rest of the day sleeping,
reading, whatever. Enforced relaxation, and absolutely no
physical memory or pain at all. The weirdest thing is the doc
telling you what's going on and there's no way you'll remember
the details, even w/o the amnesiac, but for some reason the one I
had still talked to me as though I would remember. And I tried.
(I think it's so completely day-to-day blah-blah for them that
they forget that even though the patient may be talking or asking
questions, they are ON DRUGS.)
So don't worry about it. And this is coming from somebody who had
her first at 46 because I had symptoms, and the doc found some
precancerous polyps (snip snip, all gone, no pain, no worries).
And I get to go back this year....
It's MUCH easier than worrying about colon cancer. Relax.
It's really not that bad, they have drugs that will make you
feel no pain. The prep is not pleasant, but the procedure
itself is no big deal and IV anxiety meds are pretty standard.
I would recommend doing the tablet preparation versus the
liquid, if your doctor will give you a choice.
Been there, done that
Unlike many people who've posted to various BPN lists, I don't
have any particular anxiety about a colonoscopy, but I do have
irrational dread of the prep process due to embarrassing
childhood incidents involving diarrhea. (Yes, I've had
intestinal illnesses as an adult, but there's something about
deliberately inducing that result...) Wondering if anyone has
ever found any other sort of prep, such as fasting, to be
effective? I really want to have the test, but can't seem to get
past the first step and I've put it off too long.
I've had about five colonoscopies in the past 15 years (I'm 36) and, so far,
the only prep seems to be the intentional ''whooshing out'' of the system.
Fortunately, now there is a series of pills you can take to induce it, rather
than drinking what feels like gallons of that horrible solution. I don't think
fasting would do it. They need the intestinal walls to be really clean so they
can see everything clearly. If it's any consolation, once it starts, it really
doesn't take very long - maybe a couple of hours. And that's the worst part
about it - the procedure itself is a piece of cake. Good luck!
Fasting won't clean the colon as thoroughly as the yucky drink they give you
does. Nor does an enema. You have to fast anyway..or just drink broth. The
colon really needs to be ''squeeky clean'' so they can get a good look at the
tissue inside and be able to see all the nooks and crannys(technical term).
I would recommend that you plan on being home the evening before so that you
are near a bathroom. I know people have complained that it's horrible....I
thought it wasn't THAT horrible. Just inconvenient and the drink isn't all
that pleasant but certainly do-able. It's only one evening...just prepare for
it adn get it done. Good luck.
Not having any traumatic childhood experiences with Big D, I'm not sure I can
relate to your psychological issues directly...
but for me, the biggest problem was choking down that awful, awful stuff that
you have to drink which turns solids into liquids. Even now, years later, the
memory of that taste makes me gag. If I had to do it over again, I would put
that liquid in the fridge and make it cold as possible, and then, when I had
to drink it, I would numb my mouth with ice first, THEN drink the liquid.
This only ocurred to me AFTER the fact. Good luck... and get a magazine to
read on the pot... you'll be there a while.
I would rather die from colon cancer than ever go through that again!
The colonoscopy itself was nothing. The prep nearly killed me. I weigh
105 lbs and couldn't handle the ''emptying''. I think it's wrong that
they precribe the same amount of liquid to drink for everyone (like a
200 lb person drinks the same amount as me!) I went into convulsions
right there on the toilet, all alone at home. It was the frreakiest
thing that ever happened to me. I also have a friend who started
bleeding from all his orfices during the prep. The emergency hospital
where he ended up diagnosed him as ''overdosed'' HELLO? They prescribed
the prep to drink!!!! If they dont' have an alternative before the next
time I need a colonoscopy, I ain't going!!!!
Sorry this is not good advice, but I don't advise drinking that prep
I somehow missed the original question but when I saw the answer
posted on April 19th I felt I should chime in. I have had a
colonoscopy and no, it's not fun. I did however, do a fair
amount of research online as well as speaking with everyone I
knew who had had one. There are numbers of preps out there. I
knew that I would not be able to do the one where you drink a
gallon of fluid. I went with fleet phosphate. It's 1 1/2 ounces
of not pleasant liquid. You drink half in the morning, and half
in the afternoon. I also took 2 ducolax tablets. Both of these
are over the counter. When I first spoke with my gastro guy he
was ready to prescribe the regular gallon drink but I simply
said, no I want to do the phosphate. He said fine. I think
Doctors and Dentist just get in a mode and don't take the time,
don't have the time, whatever, to go over what will and will not
work for each individual.When you drink the phosphate suck on a
lemon, it kills the taste. Drink LOTS of hydrating fluids,
(gatorade etc.)as I said, no fun, but beats the possible
I've turned 50 and am ready to make an appointment for the
dreaded colonoscopy (sigh). I only see one or two names and old
recommendations in the archives. Can anyone recommend a great
gastroenterologist who's an expert colonoscopist (?) ? Could be
in the East Bay or SF. And if you have anything encouraging (or
just informative) to say about enduring the horrible preparation
and procedure, that would be appreciated, too.
-- dreading it but determined
I had one about six months ago by:
Silvia Villagomez, M.D.
3300 Webster St., Ste. 312
Oakland, California 94609
Phone: (510) 444-3297
The procedure was performed at a veritable colonoscopy factory in the Rotunda in downtown
Oakland. If you can judge by volume, they know their stuff.
Dr. Villagomez was everything I hoped for -- businesslike, gentle, thorough (she made it to
the top of my colon), and she honored my request to go light on the drugs (I was
breastfeeding). (I also found it great to be back on my feet right afterward, instead of
groggy all day like those heavily drugged.)
The procedure itself was incredibly easy, and I was awake for it -- many people are basically
unconscious. Don't worry for a second about it.
The preparation, well -- it's many hours of explosive and uncontrollable diarrhea, so it is
messy and unpleasant. At least it doesn't hurt, like the flu does. Stock your bathroom with
magazines and be prepared to hang out there.
I had to have mine at 36, and as they found three pre-cancerous polyps, I have to go back in
three years. anon
Sorry, I don't have any local recommendations (did mine in
Minneapolis), but I can speak to the prep and procedure part.
My partner and I agree that the prep is most unpleasant! It's
been seven or eight years, and I can finally think of Fleet's
Ginger Phospho-Soda without gagging. Yuck, Yuck, YUCK. But the
idea of drinking a gallon of GoLightly or whatever it's called
sounds even worse. Maybe they've come up with a more palatable
prep since I did it!
But having gone through all that, the actual procedure was
relatively a breeze. You should be under conscious sedation,
a.k.a. more or less in Happy Land. You may be able to watch on
the monitor while they do the procedure, if you've ever wanted to
see your insides. And although it wasn't fun and pleasurable,
the only discomfort I experienced was some minor cramping-type
pains when they turned the sharp corner from one part of the
bowel to the next. Not a big deal. You will probably be
required to have someone there to take you home because of the
sedation--taxis are usually not an option.
Been there, done that, not looking forward to the next one!
I'm sorry I can't remember the name of the doc who did my
colonoscopy, but I would like to reassure you about the
procedure. The worst part is the prep the day or two before (not
painful, just the ''ick'' factor.). The procedure itself is a piece
of cake. You don't feel much at all, and it's sort of interesting
to watch the TV picture as the procedure is done. anon
I can ditto the recommendation for Dr. Silvia Villagomez. She has
performed four colonoscopies on me and is always extraordinarily
pleasant. Once I think there was a miscommunication in her office, which
delayed getting results to me, but I have always found her manner to be
very pleasant and responsive to my needs. After one colonoscopy (my
third) she found a polyp she could not remove because of its shape and
location. I subsequently had a colon resection to remove it, at which
time it was found to be cancerous. When my surgeon couldn't give me the
biopsy results in a timely manner (due to surgery) he had her come and
tell me the cancer had not spread. She came immediately upon his
request. I now have colonoscopies yearly as I have a genetic
predisposition toward colon cancer.
There are several different preps. The one that is most comprehensive is
the gallon jug. You don't need to drink it all, but most by the time you
are ''cleansed.'' It is the drinking that is the hardest part for me.
The cleansing of your bowels is not at all painful, just a nuisance.
Follow the drinking instructions closely. If you have the jug stuff,
keep it cold and ice it when you drink it. Add the flavor packet. It
goes down better that way.
The procedure itself is not difficult, although I usually require heavy
sedation as I am very sensitive to the sensations and she cannot
complete the procedure otherwise. This is because I have adhesions, so
my colon is not as flexible as most. When this first happened, she
stopped the procedure and sent me to have a barium enema (total
torture). When that identified a polyp she then had me back for another
colonoscopy with the heavy sedation, demonstrating her thoroughness.
Get your colonoscopy! Having mine by chance before the age of 50 saved
my life. Had it not happened until I was 50 I would probably be dealing
with stage 4 cancer. Anyone reading this, make sure you get a
colonoscopy as soon as you hit 50, earlier if there's a history of colon
cancer anywhere in your family, even a 1st cousin, or even a parent who
gets it in their senior years. Colon cancer can be prevented with
I'm not writing with a practitioner recommendation, but just to
say how surprised I've been that everyone responding seems to say
that they were sedated for the procedure. I've had 2 of them (at
Kaiser) with no medication of any kind and it was very easy both
The pre-precedure prep, as everyone has said, was yucky, the
procedure was uncomfortable (it does feel weird), and I might
have said (not screamed!) ouch a couple of times, but I didn't
experience anything that I would call pain.
I'm not stoic about pain by any means, but it is possible that
I'm more relaxed about medical procedures in general than the
average person. If the thought of a colonoscopy doesn't make you
highly anxious, I'd ask about having it unmedicated. Maybe the
docs just routinely sedate patients to prevent them from being
I just wanted to comment about sedation being unnecessary for a
colonoscopy. I had an unsedated colonoscopy over a decade ago
and had a bad experience. While I'm sure some people do just
fine without sedation, I was not one of them. I've since had
other colonoscopies with sedation and it was a piece of cake. I
do agree that sedated or not, get the colonoscopy! One just
saved my good friend's life, and I had a polyp removed before it
turned cancerous. Colon cancer is almost 100% preventable with
timely colonoscopies. The prep is yucky but really not a big
deal, and the procedure, with sedation, is completely painless. All in all, a great deal to
almost completely prevent a killer
I missed the original post, but I can recommend Dr. Neil Stollman
in Oakland. He was very professional and I felt well cared for
before, during and after by both him and the rest of the staff. Checked
I am curious as to others' experiences with this procedure,
especially with the different methods of cleansing; drinking 67
ounces of the powdered liquid vs. 1 1/2 ounces of fleet
phososoda two times. Is one easier than the other, etc. Did
you experience nausau or vomiting - with which one. Were you
sedated or consciously sedated. How did you feel afterwards.
Also, who was your physician and where did you have it done.
How was the overall experience.
not looking forward to doing this
Oh my gosh. Talk about memories. It will be interesting to see how
many posts this one gets. I did the powder. No vomiting.
No nausea. It was really, really boring & hard to drink so much
but I thought the cleaning-out process (so to speak) was pretty gentle.
I would recommend the tangiest flavor possible.
I used the orange and it tasted kind of glutinous towards the end, but
think maybe they all do. FYI, I found it harder to be on the clear
the day before (beef bouillon cube after cube after cube) than I did
drinking the solution. I would recommend as early an appointment as
possible for the colonoscopy itself since you have to avoid liquids for
X hours before and I was REALLY thirsty when it was over. That glass
apple juice they gave me was the most delicious thing I have tasted in
my life. I chose to be awake during the procedure, but I remember
''ooh'' at one point, and the anesthesiologist must have put me right
under, because I don't remember anything else until I woke up in the
recovery room. I had Dr. Bernstein with Gastroenterology Associates.
Office on Regent Street in Berkeley; procedures performed off-site at a
very nice facility near the train station in Emeryville. And, don't
fret. It's really not that bad -- although I can't say I'm necessarily
looking forward to another one in 8 years or so.
I saw Thomas Hargrave, Oakland, who does colonoscopies and endoscopies
at an outpatient center in downtown Oakland; he has a nice, light
I only experienced the 64-ounce laxative that tastes like heavy liquid
Jell-O--not the greatest stuff in the world, but not nauseating. The
conscious sedation went well for me, and I actually found watching the
journey through my bowels kind of interesting. (Good drugs, obviously!)
No pain, and no bad after-effects; my husband drove me home and brought
me soup and crackers in bed, and I took it easy for the rest of the
The down side: Having to spend four hours drinking the laxative and
hanging out in the bathroom. Being REAL hungry by the time the
was over. Also, I was kept waiting quite a while at the outpatient
center (but the staff was very kind).
In sum, the experience was better than I thought it might be; the
laxative part was the worst, and not that bad, either.
I had a colonoscopy about four years ago and the most unpleasant parts
were drinking a gallon of the cleansing drink
(yuck) and the migraine headache I got from being dehydrated...coupled
with a lack of a.m. caffeine.
If you drink a lot of coffee, I would recommend backing off of it
gradually a few days before the procedure. My head was splitting by
time they finally started prepping me.
I can't remember what they gave me to sedate me...but I do recall being
in and out during the procedure. I didn't feel anything. The
itself was no problem and I felt fine afterwards. I've had a
sigmoidoscopy (spelling?)and found it to be FAR worse.
Goodluck -- it really is not that bad.
I have had 3 colonoscopies so far, all with Dr. Frank Farrell at UCSF
whom I would highly recommend. I'm not sure about the specific
methods you mention. Mine was a gallon of Gatorade with Miralax
dissolved in it, plus some Dulcolax. I didn't get very nauseous
I have avoided Gatorade since then! The Miralax really beats the older
prescription, I forgot what the name was but it tasted metallic and
did make me very nauseous and I vomited a lot.
I was sedated and I'm not sure how heavy the sedation was supposed to
be- one out of the three times I was barely conscious, the other two
times I was out completely. The after- effects were mostly from the
sedation. The only other after- effect I had was A LOT of farting-
they use gas to inflate your colon to take a look. You can eat
immediately after the procedure.
No one really looks forward to a colonoscopy- but it is much better
the alternative (having a problem, like cancer, and not knowing about
it). Plus, as you probably have heard, if it turns out you do have a
polyp or something else, the dr. will remove it immediately. Good luck
and feel free to email me directly if you have more questions.
Although a rather embarrassing process - a colonoscopy just isn't that
bad. I have had two, each by a different doctor. I didn't use either
the cleansing methods you mentioned, so I can't comment there. The
process itself is just something to get through - it doesn't hurt (say
as much as a mammogram which I find really painful). I didn't have any
after-effects at all.
That's my experience - like everything else it is probably different
from person to person.
I had mine done at Kaiser. I was partially sedated. I even asked for a
monitor to watch, but I fell asleep. I do remember a little discomfort
when they had to reposition as the scope worked its way up, but they
gave me a picture of my polyp for my efforts!
On a scale of 1-10 I give it a 3. There's no pain, really, it's just
uncomfortable. Feels kind of like stomach cramps. I was not nauseated,
did not throw up. I did the fleet. I think it's just salt water.
be fine - just breathe!
Hi, I had a colonoscopy as well as an endoscopy several years ago when
was 49 or so. For the colonoscopy I drank the phosphosoda twice. That
was probably the worst part of the whole procedure! You'll not be able
to stray far from the bathroom during that phase. I was supposedly
partially awake during the actual colonoscopy, but I remember
NOTHING about it except the tech. telling me that the drug I was about
to get tended to give an amnesiac effect. The next thing I remember is
waking up in my paper ''socks'' and getting dressed to leave. I had the
procedure done at Mercy General in Sacramento. Don't worry about it;
was a piece of cake.
I've had two colonoscopy exams and will be taking them more often than
most people due to family history of colon cancer.
The first was the massive quantity of liquid, the 2nd the lesser
Go for the lesser. Both do the same thing - cramps, bloating, etc. Both
taste ''not nice''. But having to spend HOURS drinking xx oz. every
10-15 min... I still shudder.
The degree to which either solution ''hits you'' - well, different
reactions for different bodies - but considering what the solution is
doing to your body, yeah, you're going to feel pretty lousy. No way
I fell asleep during the procedure and didn't feel a thing.
Afterwards... bit crampy, bloated, but felt better sooner than I
expected. Something rather bizarre about hiding behind your little
curtain in the recovery room, being told by the nurse that one must
gas before being allowed to leave...
The doctor's name - can't find it handy. Had it done at some
''colonscopy center'' in Emeryville (though the doctor's office is near
But the important thing is the result - all clear.
I had my first colonoscopy 3 months ago. Everything went fine but I
very nervous and put it off for a while. My doctor was Lisa Higa. You
have to wait for a while to get in to see her so make an appointment
now. I drank the smaller amount of stuff. I can't imagine drinking a
gallon of stuff. Get an appointment earky in the day so you don't have
to wait so long to eat again. I was sedated through an IV, and fell
asleep for a brief time. You can email me if you have any more
Good luck with it.
I just took my mom to the doctor for this yesterday. She drank the
liquid. She did not enjoy the experience, but said it wasn't awful.
She vomitted once, but it wasn't painful - just very unpleasant. As
the procedure, she was sedated. It was all very easy and quick. Once
it was over, she was drowsy and slept for about 3 hours. She had mild
cramping afterwards. But she said it didn't hurt. All in all, it
wasn't a too bad an experience. The worst of it was drinking the
and not being able to eat for hours prior to the procedure.
I agree with earlier posts that the prep is far worse than the procedure. I just had
my second colonoscopy last month, and for the first time was given pills to take with
water -- not phosphosoda or some other vile pseudo-drink. Four large pills with a
large glass of water every 15 minutes for a total of 5 sessions the day before, then a
couple more sessions in the morning of the procedure day. WAY better than forcing
Smile for the Camera!
hi. i want to get a colonoscopy. can anyone recommend someone
who is very good in the East Bay, including the Lamorinda area.
I had a colonoscopy and an endoscopy done a week ago with Dr.
Silvia Villagomez (444-3297) whose office is in Oakland in front
of Summit Hospital. She was HIGHLY recommended to me by general
practitioner. She was gentle, caring and attentive. Although it
was initially difficult to get an appointment, I managed to get
one when she had a cancelation for the appointment and for the
colonoscopy. Based on my experience and the referral I had, I
highly recommend her. Good luck!
I just had one today at Kaiser Oakland--no complaints. Before
I was with Kaiser, I had two in Oakland/Emeryville performed by
Dr. Michael Silpa, and I highly recommend him. His office is
on Regent Street in Berkeley, but these procedures are all
performed at a clinic in Emeryville that is fairly new and very
If you've never had one before, I think the most important
thing is to get someone who is experienced in the procedure.
The worst part BY FAR is the prep--which consists of drinking a
huge jug of awful stuff to clean you out. Once you've managed
to get that stuff down, the rest is easy! You will be semi--
woozy thanks to the wonderful dose of demerol you'll get, but I
do recommend trying to stay awake so that you can watch it on
the TV. It's pretty cool!
Having recently turned 50, my Dr. gave me a referral for a
sigmoidoscopy. Many people have told me I should get a
colonoscopy, that it's much more complete, and though it's a
longer procedure, you're sedated so it's actually more
comfortable to have done.
It makes sense to me to have the colonoscopy done instead,
however, I'm a Kaiser member and they will not schedule a
colonos. as routine, I'd have to have a new referral from my Dr.
and usually a good reason for one, like colon cancer in the
immediate family, etc.
I'd like opinions from those of you who have had to make that
choice, and from health care professionals. I could likely get
my Dr. to refer me for a colonoscopy....what to do.
Thanks,....not looking forward to thtis.
I've had a sigmoidoscopy twice since I was 40 (I'm 49 now) and I
recently had an endoscopy, which is essentially the same as a
colonoscopy in terms of sedation, prep. I do have relatives
with colon cancer, but, as I understand it, most health plans
cover a full colonoscopy at age 50 for everyone, with or without
a higher risk of colon cancer. I wanted to let you know that I
too was not looking forward to the endoscopy, but that I was
pretty much ''out'' during the procedure. I feel you should go
and have the colonoscopy; you'll feel relieved knowing that
there is nothing wrong with you afterward.
The recommendation, now (and as it should have always been), by
the American Academy of Gastroenterology is that one forego the
sigmoidoscopy in favor of a colonoscopy. Sig. only images
about 50% of the colon, meaning that if you have a tumor or
pre-cancerous polyps in the remaining part of the colon, you
could bein trouble. Sadly enough, I know of more than one
scenario and a current scenario of someone who is dying of colon
cancer and who had a sigmoidoscopy, religiously, bi-annually.
You would be justified in fabricating that there is a history of
colon cancer in the family in order to access a colonoscopy
Good for you for knowing the advantage of a colonoscopy over a
sigmoidoscopy. And good luck with getting Kaiser to allow a
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