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Just had my 2nd ... and 3rd colonoscopy
Old 04-27-2008, 11:35 AM   #1
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Just had my 2nd ... and 3rd colonoscopy

At 40 the Doc convinced me to have a proctoscope screening which led to a colonoscopy to remove a polyp (turned out to be a false alarm). The colonoscopy was painful, (I was awake) and my colon was too long for the instrument so I had a very painful barium enema and x-ray to complete the exam. All clear, but I was sick for a week afterwards, and decided "never again"

However, 13 years later Doc persuaded me to go for another screening - technology is much better, colon cancer very common etc. Plus I knew personally 3 friends who had had colon cancer this last few years so I went for one on Friday (it's Sunday now).

This time I didn't remember a thing and felt fine when I woke up but the Doc said the "preparartion cleansing" was not complete and he couldn't see all he needed. DW was went off to get more laxatives - pills and a drink, plus a water enema kit. Went home spent 3 hrs administering enemas and at 3pm had a 2nd exam. this time I was awake part of the exam and much more alert at the post exam interview. I had already decided "never again" when the Doc said "I did find 1 small polyp at the far end of the colon and removed it - don't expect it is anything to worry about but you need another screening in THREE YEARS "
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Old 04-27-2008, 03:25 PM   #2
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Ah. The wonders of modern medicine.

I did a flexi sigmoido a few months ago along with the occult blood stool test.

I suppose there are arguments the full colo is more thorough. But The American Caner Society list one of the acceptable options as: flexi sigmoido with stool blood tests. If nothing suspicious found, and no blood in stool possibly meaning something higher up in colo is wrong, then repeat in five years.

They say of the full colo--repeat in ten years.

Was it cause they removed a polyp the doc wants you back in three?
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Old 04-27-2008, 03:35 PM   #3
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They say of the full colo--repeat in ten years.

Was it cause they removed a polyp the doc wants you back in three?
Yes, this is why he said 3 years instead of 10.

If it was not for the fact that a friend and colleague was diagnosed with colon cancer a few months back I would not be worried. He had been countng on the annual medical with its associated blood in the stool test. However, he went into the doc with back pains and they suspected kidneys and did a scan which revealed colon cancer. Further tests showed that it had spread beyond the colon. So he has had the surgery to remove the primary tumor and is undergoing chemo. He has never had other screenings and is age 52.
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Old 04-27-2008, 03:39 PM   #4
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I just had my physical and was told that I need to schedule a colonoscopy since I've reached the 50 milestone. My doctor mentioned it 3x during my visit - so it must be important.
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Old 04-27-2008, 03:52 PM   #5
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I just had my physical and was told that I need to schedule a colonoscopy since I've reached the 50 milestone. My doctor mentioned it 3x during my visit - so it must be important.
Yes, I'm now convinced it is worth doing.

Have you seen this thread? Get your Colonoscopy! This was another reason I decided to proceed.
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Old 04-27-2008, 04:34 PM   #6
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Just had my first screening colonoscopy last week. Negative findings but I have to redo in 5 years. It was totally painless. Asleep during the whole procedure. The staff were all very friendly, professional, and efficient. The prep is the worst part but it is not the overall worst experience I have ever had. I would post the pictures but ... um ... they are probably not that interesting.

I have known a few people to leave with colon cancer, the most recent one being an ex-boss in January.
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Old 04-27-2008, 04:40 PM   #7
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I recently had mine done (57), and the doc found several polyps, which he removed. He told me I MUST re-check again in 3 years, because of a history of cancer in my immediate family. The prep was the worst of it this time, but afterward, I was fine. Like another poster said earlier, the last time I had a colonoscopy, I, too, was sick for a whole week. Yes, it's worth doing.
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Old 04-27-2008, 05:15 PM   #8
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I had my first colonoscopy about 10 years ago at about age 43 when my father died from prostate cancer that had spread into the colon. He found and removed one small non-cancerous polop. He said to come back in 5 years. Three years later my primary care doctor decided to give me that blood-stool test and it came back positive so back to the "slab" table I went but he found nothing this time... all clear so he asked me to come again in 5 more years. I've never been given the stool test again and my research says that a LOT of them come back as false positives.

In 2007 I returned for my 5 year clearance and he found one tiny polop and even gave me a picture of it. After the biopsy I got a letter that the polop was of the cancerous type (the kind that could develop cancer, but the polop had no cancer) so he's now put me on that wonderful 3 year plan. Geeez!

I told the doctor that my dads cancer didn't originate in the colon, but that it had only spread there from the prostate. He said that it didn't matter how the cancer got there and he said that it was important for me to come back in 3 years. I'll follow his advice.

As for the pain of the procedure, for me it was very little. Rather than pain I'd have to say that somewhat "uncomfortable" would describe it better. The 24 hours of no solid foods and mostly a liquid diet, then the flusing of the bowel that night and the morning of the procedure was the worst part for me.

I was completely awake for all three procedures and followed every minute of it on the tv screen as the doctor snaked he way up my cave. The demerol that he released in my iv made me feel like I'd drank a six-pack but I was still quite conscious. He said that I had a twisted colon at one point where I always let out an "ughhhhh!" but he had a nurse just hold my abdomen with a little pressure at one spot until finished and I didn't feel any other sharp pain. At times during my last procedure I don't feel like he gave me enough demerol and it was the most uncomfortable of them all but bearable. Next time I'm gonna be sure to tell him to give me the full dose, please... but I like staying awake.

If you have a family history of colon cancer then be sure to get a full colonoscopy at age 40 and at age 50 for everyone else. Colon cancer is one of the most curable cancers IF it is caught early. Every doctor that I've talked with agrees that the full colonoscopy is the ONLY way to check every inch of the colon. Don't delay and put your life and your families future in jeopardy of being without you. GET R DONE !!!
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Old 04-27-2008, 05:33 PM   #9
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Three years later my primary care doctor decided to give me that blood-stool test and it came back positive ....
In another thread, Rich said that 90% of the positive tests from this are false. A useful tidbit of knowledge to reduce the "worry" factor for those that do get blood detected in the stool.
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Old 04-27-2008, 06:05 PM   #10
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I have had 5 or 6 colonoscopies in the last 20 years for a variety of digestive problems. In every case I had no pain and no recall of the procedure at all. The "twilight" sedation used by the anesthesiologist insured that only the prep was unpleasant. Those of you who said you were awake during the whole thing, I think you should find another doctor or facility the next time you need to have it done.

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Old 04-27-2008, 06:21 PM   #11
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Does being sedated during the procedure require that I have someone drive me home; or is there a recovery room?
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Old 04-27-2008, 06:22 PM   #12
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In another thread, Rich said that 90% of the positive tests from this are false. A useful tidbit of knowledge to reduce the "worry" factor for those that do get blood detected in the stool.
I read somewhere that eating raw/rare meat can cause a positive blood test.
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Old 04-27-2008, 06:26 PM   #13
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Does being sedated during the procedure require that I have someone drive me home; or is there a recovery room?
Even if you are awake, you are sedated and the clinic will insist on you having someone dirve you home.

I don't believe they will allow you to walk out - they'll wheel you out and help you into a car driven by someone else.
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Old 04-27-2008, 06:27 PM   #14
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I read somewhere that eating raw/rare meat can cause a positive blood test.
Correct, plus blood can be present from haemoroids and other sources.
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Old 04-27-2008, 06:33 PM   #15
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Had my 2nd C'opy last Nov. I was 56. My 1st one found a couple of polyps, benign that he cut out. This one found hemmeroids, no polyps.
I am on the 5 year plan for C'opy. Since they found polyps the 1st time.

I am out cold and awaken fresh and pain free. Those of you who want to be awake during the test are WAY TOO CURIOUS.
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Old 04-27-2008, 07:36 PM   #16
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I said to the physician assistant last week that I had no primary physician and she said well who will do you followups set tests like your colonoscopy etc. I said i would rather die a horrible death then have the procedure!!

Who has a sense of humor? She sure did not!
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Old 04-27-2008, 10:40 PM   #17
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I don't believe they will allow you to walk out - they'll wheel you out and help you into a car driven by someone else.
They wouldn't even allow me to take a cab, insisted that DW drive me. Maybe they were afraid I'd stop at a bar along the way? I sure wasn't up to that!
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Old 04-28-2008, 04:55 AM   #18
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I had my first a couple weeks back. They don't put you under here, nor give you anything for pain until you jump. Anyway, I wanted to be awake, because the other thing they don't always do here is honestly tell you if there is a serious problem...if the doctor or nurse let out a "sigh", I wanted to hear it, so I would know if I needed to catch the next plane to the states to have it re-done. Thankfully no sighs or strange sounds from them, and he did describe the things he was seeing (and I was seeing) as he did it. All clear, this time.

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Old 04-28-2008, 09:26 AM   #19
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I'll only do it again if I can be out cold for the whole thing -- including the prep.
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Old 04-28-2008, 09:29 AM   #20
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Even if you are awake, you are sedated and the clinic will insist on you having someone dirve you home.

I don't believe they will allow you to walk out - they'll wheel you out and help you into a car driven by someone else.
I had my first last week. No problem. They asked if I had someone to drive me home. I said yes. But the clinic was only four blocks from home so I walked. Also no problem.

It isn't like they are going to hold you prisoner.
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