Nov 13, '08
I would think your first step should be to discuss this w/your doctor who will be performing the procedure. I asked that we be allowed to video tape my colonoscopy and it was left up to my doctor whether to allow it. She was willing and we did so at our local hospital's outpatient endoscopy unit several times. Then there was a change in head nurses in the department and the new head nurse said no more. So we, my gastro and I, switched to doing my procedures at a stand alone clinic where we still video my scopes.
The same would hold true regarding your desire for no conscious sedation. At my insistence we do may scopes w/just demerol and occasionally a little phenergan. The colonoscopies take longer and are more difficult for the person performing the scope than if you are sedated. And there can be anywhere from mild discomfort to quite a bit of pain involved for the patient. Much depends on the skill and patience of the person performing the scope. It is somewhat like trying to thread a string thru a straw. The scope shaft tends to loop back on itself which stretches the colon and can be quite painful, they insufflate some air or gas to widen the colon to assist w/passing the scope and too much air can stretch the colon and be painful. Colonoscopies are often a little more difficult in women as women tend to have a somewhat longer colon than men for their size. The colon is quite flexible and that doggon transverse colon can really dip down deep into the abdominal cavity during a scope making negotiating the hepatic flexure a bit of a challenge for some. There is an attempt made to penetrate the ileocecal valve to view the distal end of the small intestine and that can often be a challenge and uncomfortable. My gastro and I were at a stand off for a couple of years whether I would agree to a colonoscopy and whether she would agree to doing mine w/o sedation. We solved it because SHE opted to undergo both an upper and lower scope w/o sedation. She agreed w/me that the upper scope was worse due to the gagging and to doing my scopes w/o sedation and I agreed to having the scopes done.
In your case you should be prepared that your colonoscopy MAY be more difficult than most and quite possibly more painful due to your previous bout w/uterine cancer and I assume surgery. There may be adhesions and scar tissue that will complicate the procedure.
Discuss all this w/your doctor who will be doing the procedure. Good luck and God bless!
Last edit by CrohnieToo on Nov 13, '08