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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Colon and Rectal Cancers

Question: Colonoscopy without sedation

 goex2f - Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:52 pm

I'm a 54 year old male in good health other than ercent onset of constipation alternating with diarrhea and dark stools which are positive for blood per a home heme test. I also have a first-degree relative who died from colon cancer at a young age and I was thinking of getting a colonoscopy. I have had one horrible experience with "conscious sedation" ; a severe paradoxical reaction to Versed and a repeat try with Propofol was no better. I would never do conscious sedaion again. I'm a hospital pharmacist, so I have some familiarity with the procedure (I have watched several) as well as knowing the drugs used. I'm willing to tolerate the discomfort of doing the exam drug-free (as is done in many countries), but when I try to schedule the exam I'm told that sedation is required. My insurance covers this exam 100%, but I would be willing to pay cash if necessary to have it done without drugs. I was recently the designated driver for a nurse friend who had this exam done with Versed and fentanyl and listening to her scream did nothing to reassure me that conscious sedation is desireable; but my symptoms are getting to the point where I really need to do the exam. Any suggestions will be apperciated. Thanks
 goex2f - Tue May 05, 2009 9:31 pm

I had this exam scheduled for today and they told me that they had done them without sedation and the office nurse told me that they were getting more than a few requests for doing the exam unsedated. I did the prep, which wasn't easy because of the abdominal pain and reported for the exam and I got to meet the doctor. At first, the doctor told me that I was doing the right thing self-referring for the colonoscopy because of my family history and symptoms, then she got quite irate when she noticed that I had requested the exam without sedation; she wouldn't discuss my previous problems with conscious sedation-I got a lecture on how busy they were and how much longer it took to do an unsedated exam (like this is my fault). I offered to pay extra in cash if needed; but this was dismissed. She said that they had done unsedated exams, but doing so sometimes wrecked their colonoscopy schedule. I was again told that it was fairly imperative that I have the exam done and, upon review of my chart, conscious sedation would be a bad idea. I did get a virtual a month ago and have polyps and an area that needs biopsied. She left and a nurse came in and had me change into a gown, started an IV (for what, I don't know) and I laid on the gurney for about an hour. When the nurse finally took me into the endo suite, the doctor said "we don't like to do these exams without sedation anymore, it takes too long and it will be uncomfortable, then you will tell others not to get the exam". No kidding, that's what she said , then she walked out. I asked the nurses what I should do next; they didn't know.

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