Endoscopy experience


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#1
My mum just had the procedure done for ulcers under local anaesthesia, and it was a terrible experience for her, and it hurts me to hear her describe it afterwards. :cry: The specialist said she was 'uncooperative' and that everyone could see that she was very tensed, hence it was a 'struggle' to perform the procedure. I'm not sure whether it was due to a negative experience about a decade ago, when the 'tubing' was thicker, or because she has a strong gag reflex, etc. The worst thing is after taking some medication, she has to go back for another scope in a few weeks' time.

Has anyone of you or your friends/relatives undergone an endoscopy before and how long ago was it? What was the experience like? Were you under general/local anaesthesia/sedation? Any tips on how to make it more tolerable? TIA.
 

Jul 28, 2002
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#2
my mum had it about 10 years ago under no anaesthesia and experienced the same discomfort, to a point she almost grab the doctor by the throat before she passed out, almost literally! :bsmilie:

I watched with horror... least to say :bigeyes: and I feel the procedure is too invasive for everyone (others than those knife/sword "swallowers" ;p ). So, if the next time the nurse/doctor/specialist compains 'uncooperative' to you, suggest to them why not you scope for them and then let them tell you how they feel.
 

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#3
About any tips on how to make it more tolerable... first of all, the nurse/specialist have to make her comfortable.
 

Del_CtrlnoAlt

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#4
dunno if i am wrong in these anot...

my mom went for this new heart scan at the clinic at Taka, previously is situated at Mt E, heard that the new scanner can do brain & colon as well, so maybe can check out that place if you feel that your mom may not be tolerable to the procedure.

anyway, if she does want to continue with the procedure, she have to understand the procedure is for her own good, and that she needs this procedure, etc etc, kinda like psycho herself into the positive aspect... (not sure the reason thou) and everybody have different threshold to pain, for some a slight prick may send her crying while some loses a finger & no pain is felt... so she have to understand her own threshold, then try to alleviate the anxiety.
 

Parchiao

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#5
What seems to be the problem here? Your mum can ask to be sedated while they perform the procedure. If an endoscopy is bad, wait till you hear about how much worse a colonoscopy feels.
 

Del_CtrlnoAlt

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#6
jasphotography said:
my mum had it about 10 years ago under no anaesthesia and experienced the same discomfort, to a point she almost grab the doctor by the throat before she passed out, almost literally! :bsmilie:

I watched with horror... least to say :bigeyes: and I feel the procedure is too invasive for everyone (others than those knife/sword "swallowers" ;p ). So, if the next time the nurse/doctor/specialist compains 'uncooperative' to you, suggest to them why not you scope for them and then let them tell you how they feel.
actually last time in class we do NG tube insertion for each other b4... ;p

it is definitely not a nice thing to feel, esp when you are conscious & your reflex system is still active. its best if the doc or person performing the procedure & the patient have a mutual understanding that both are trying to get a job done. The patient should try to relax & as much as possible, endure thru the procedure. on the other hand the patient should also inform the doc via a signal that she cannot tolerate anymore. (i do admit that i have seen some docs force the tube down despite the agony of the patient), simple prep for the patient before the procedure is try to do a swallowing motion, so that it faciliate the movement of the tube, follow the instructions of the physician, let the physician know your threshold, and hope that the procedure finish fast, most of such procedures normally would not exceed 10-20 mins. (err long time not in this line... please dun quote me)
 

student

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Jul 26, 2004
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#7
Tolerance to such procedures are "person-dependent". Some people (not the knife swallowing type, just plain ordinary folks like you and me!) have high tolerance and some just cannot tolerate the sight of a needle and will faint immediately!

The procedures are uncomfortable, no question about it! But in general tolerable for the majority. For those whose tolerance level is low, or who are anxious, a light sedation is all that is required!

Personally, I had TWO gastroscopies and ONE colonoscopy. The first gastroscopy went without a hitch although I did get some reflex gag. NO sedation at all! There was no pain. The second gastroscopy had to be done with light sedation, not because of discomfort, but the reflex gag made it impossible for me to swallow the scope. My colonoscopy was done without the slightest bit of sedation because I had to return to work immediately. There was some discomfort when air was "pumped in", something like a bad colic, nothing that I had not experienced before!

I think discomfort, while real, is probably aggravated by anxiety and fear. I do have certain advantages because my mind was better prepared. But for those who are apprehensive in the first place, light sedation may be in order.
 

#8
Wow. Thank you for the replies. I think it doesn't have to do with the threshold of pain, my mum's is very very high. She had an operation for slipped disc a few years ago, and the doctor was shocked that she hardly pumped any morphine for herself. So I guess it's either strong gag reflex or strong 'fighting to live' instinct! She definitely tries to psyche herself that it's for her own good, but it's not easy, and she knows struggling won't help! Jasphotography, your mum's experience sounds like mine! ;p

I don't know why the specialist is reluctant to use sedation or general anaesthesia. He keeps saying there are greater side effects. In the former, there's the risk of fluid in lungs, etc. But my mum is in early sixties and in good health. He did say he'll play by ear the next time round though.
 

Adzz

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#9
just don't go into panic attack. it might just cause one to go into coma.
 

redstorm

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#10
Parchiao said:
What seems to be the problem here? Your mum can ask to be sedated while they perform the procedure. If an endoscopy is bad, wait till you hear about how much worse a colonoscopy feels.
I have had a colonoscopy done a few years back and the effect wasn't as bad as what has been described here about the endoscopy. The only discomfort I felt was only towards the end of the whole procedure. After the scope was taken out, I felt normal and no discomfort at all.
 

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