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Subject Topic: Endoscopy help Post Reply Post New Topic
02/6/2014 at 9:56am
 Location: Ayrshire
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I'm going for another endoscopy next Tuesday afternoon. This will be my 4th in about 10 years.

Are there any nurses/docs out there who can give me some advice?

The last 2 that I had were a nightmare - I have GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder) so I really don't cope with these. Please don't tell me to "chill" or "calm down", because it just doesn't work! I asked to be suitably sedated and was very much fobbed off by the surgeon. I spent the whole time almost wide awake, sobbing and violently retching. I can't bear to do it again - even though it's only 10 mins or so.

On my most recent visit to my surgeon, I told him of my anxiety and he said he'd make sure I was more sedated - however, he wrote nothing on my notes. I told him I would refuse to have it done at all, if he didn't make sure I was more sedated and he just laughed.

My appointment came through on Sat in the post and I just sat down and cried for ages. I'm dreading it.

How can I make sure that I am properly listened to? And should I have the throat spray AND sedation? Would that help? I'm in such a state this morning, can't stop crying and really just don't want to go for it.

Any advice greatly appreciated.x


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Gillian


02/6/2014 at 10:05am
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I really know where your coming from Weegmack ive a big fear of hospitals myself.
You must remember these people are just workers not gods,i would threaten to sue his ass,no kidding,if he didnt do what you asked him.No need to suffer in this day n age.
Hope it goes ok for you..

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Animals have feelings..

JEFF................


02/6/2014 at 10:11am
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I will speak to my sister tonight (she is an endoscopy nurse) and try to get her to answer your questions. I think there are some endo nurses on here too so they may be able to help you

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Gail

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02/6/2014 at 11:11am
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I'm an endoscopy nurse. Everyone is different, I've had the test myself with throat spray and I managed fine BUT that doesn't mean everyone will. I had no anxiety or fear, I see the test done a million times so I had 100% trust in my colleagues. Most people will fear the test and I understand.

One thing you must understand, your consultant saying he will give you lots of sedation is one thing but he may not be doing the test so the responsibility of giving you sedation lies with the endoscopist, it's them that will have to stand up in court and justify the amount of sedation they've given if something was to go wrong. They can't stand up and say but Mr Consultant there told me to, that doesn't wash.

I've no idea how your hospitals endo department is set up, but it can deal with an emergency situation of course but we need to avoid them, it's not a theatre with anaesthetists.

Ok so none of that helps you, I know, but some patients don't understand the ins and outs of the department.

Again, whether you can have throat spray and sedation will depend on how the endoscopist feels. If the choice is there, I'd take it.

There is no trick to having the test. Everyone responds differently to the sedative each time they have it. It really is mind over matter. Yes, you are going to wretch, gag, burp, cough. Yes you will think you are choking, you probably will think you can't breath, everyone feels like that. What to try and do is accept these things, know they are going to happen, forewarned is forearmed. Gagging is normal, some people can stop it but most can't, just let it happen, you will burp, don't panic again let it happen. Your oxygen and pulse will be monitored, so we can see your breathing is ok. You won't choke, you are lying on your side so the saliva runs out or gets suctioned away. Remember as well the test is very quick, should be less than 5 minutes,sometimes it's only 2 or 3.

In saying all that, some peoples anxiety just doesn't allow the test to happen and you'd need to discuss that with your consultant.

You probably won't believe me in what I'm going to say but it's what we find. People cope better with the throat spray as they are fully alert and can reason with themselves and have a full understanding of what's happening. Sedated patients tend to fight the test most as they are often so relaxed and sleepy then we come at them with a scope and they wonder what the hell is happening. I don't think this is a option you'd try though so that's ok.

I really hope you manage the test in whatever way you chose to have it, it's not the nicest thing to have done, I agree, but it's very worthwhile. Good luck.



02/6/2014 at 11:31am
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the 4th??? I've only had one and that was enough. And those four minutes seemed like four hours.

I know how you feel because if the doc said I needed another, I would definitely have to be sedated. In fact I would probably ask the question below.

If it's just being done to keep an eye on something, can they not do a different, less invasive test? Like a scan, for example?

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02/6/2014 at 11:49am
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I had it done once and only had a throat spray. Certainly not a good experience and one I wouldn't relish having to go through again. However, you just have to accept that the people doing it know exactly what they are doing. It doesn't actually hurt...just feels uncomfortable...and yes, you will wretch and your eyes will water. I was more concerned that people in the waiting room would hear me and think (know) I was a wimp. I didn't know nearly everybody did that and they didn't tell me beforehand (or after). The hospitals in my area seem to think it's better not to tell a patient anything and let them find out for themselves!!

Wish you all the best...2 or 3 uncomfortable minutes in a lifetime of fun   


02/6/2014 at 12:06pm
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I have had endoscopy and colonoscopy quite a few times and neither are pleasant.
I must be lucky as have been given light sedation everytime.
Its a light sedation due to me having copd but to be honest it knocks me out completely.

I would ask the nurse/doctor on the day that you would prefer sedation or at the very least the throat spray to numb the area and don't take no for an answer, it is available and I have had it done previously at Crosshouse Hospital that you mentioned in a previous post and also where I live now in Fife..

Hope all goes well..

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It is a wise man who has something to say.
It is a fool who has to say something.


02/6/2014 at 12:41pm
 Location: Ayrshire
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Thanks everyone.   

Jackie_s - I appreciate all that advice- really I do. You're not the first person to tell me the throat spray is the best way! I totally get where you're coming from about the sedation - it makes you lose all inhibitions, so I do fight it! I just think I'll panic too much without sedation though and go bonkers.

Jax - when the surgeon said I need to have an endoscopy, my heart sank and I asked could he not do something else, like a barium swallow? But he said no, that he'd have to have a proper look (which scared the sh** out of me to be honest).

VangoMan - it is Crosshouse. I've had a few sigmoidoscopies too (I really HATE the day before!). I will try and be braver on the day - I'm so easily put off saying what I want to say when I get there. I'm a terrible worrier and NOT BRAVE!! But thanks so much.x



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Gillian


02/6/2014 at 4:55pm
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Weegmack, I learnt self-hypnosis prior to some pretty grim investigations. Visualisation didn't entirely work, but helped hugely - in my head I took myself to my favourite place (I think it was a beech wood, kicking through the autumn leaves), and detached brain from body while things were done. I have a philosophy which also helps - "you get what you expect, so expect the best". My father-in-law, in contrast, always looks on the dark side of life, and it always rains on his parade. Finally, don't go alone - take someone to talk to in the waiting room, and use the time to chat about where you're going to go camping next! Hope it goes well. Let us know.


02/6/2014 at 5:53pm
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Thanks so much Fiona! My hubby is coming with me, but they didn't let him come in the last time - I'll just dig my heels in this time! I'll try to practice some of these techniques you suggest - I'm really not naturally positive lol! But I need to try or I'm just going to be a wreck by the time next Tuesday comes....xxx


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Gillian


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02/6/2014 at 7:28pm
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I had my first one last year and I also suffer badly with anxiety, especially 'health anxiety'. I had an anxiety attack the morning before I went and thought I just couldn't go through with it but my hubby came with me and calmed me down enough to walk through the door. The nurse I saw pre-procedure was really nice and could see what state I was in and told me the best way to go through it was to have the throat spray and that if I didn't fight it and just took really slow breaths it would be over quicker. Very difficult I know but I just wanted it over and done with.

So when I went in I had the spray and then took a few seconds to really slow my breathing down, closed my eyes and ALL I could think of was.....keep breathing slow, be over quicker....and yes I did gag and it wasn't pleasant, but it was over quicker.

I know it's not your first time but I understand your anxiety, I'd be exactly the same, just remember to KEEP repeating to yourself all the time "breathe slow, over quicker" and think of nothing else but slow breathing.

Good luck, be thinking of you.


02/6/2014 at 7:47pm
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Quote: Originally posted by jules+rich on 02/6/2014
I had my first one last year and I also suffer badly with anxiety, especially 'health anxiety'. I had an anxiety attack the morning before I went and thought I just couldn't go through with it but my hubby came with me and calmed me down enough to walk through the door. The nurse I saw pre-procedure was really nice and could see what state I was in and told me the best way to go through it was to have the throat spray and that if I didn't fight it and just took really slow breaths it would be over quicker. Very difficult I know but I just wanted it over and done with.

So when I went in I had the spray and then took a few seconds to really slow my breathing down, closed my eyes and ALL I could think of was.....keep breathing slow, be over quicker....and yes I did gag and it wasn't pleasant, but it was over quicker.

I know it's not your first time but I understand your anxiety, I'd be exactly the same, just remember to KEEP repeating to yourself all the time "breathe slow, over quicker" and think of nothing else but slow breathing.

Good luck, be thinking of you.



Thank you. I appreciate your advice. Health anxiety is also my "trigger" - how ironic huh? I've had a bad experience with this particular department at my local hospital, because I always felt the consultant was impatient. However, the nurses were lovely. I recently had a laparoscopy and the nurses were SO understanding about my worries and GAD. I just need to make sure I speak to them first. Are you allowed to try with the throat spray and then opt for sedation if you just can't do it? It's because I have time to think about it - I'll be so worked up. If they knocked on the door right now and said they were going to give me an endoscopy now, I'd probably just get on with it! xx

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Gillian


03/6/2014 at 12:08am
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Hi weegmack. I've very recently had both the endoscopy & colonoscopy so I can relate to your worries. It was my 2nd time for both and I must say this time around it was much easier as I knew what to expect. As others have said, throat spray for the endoscopy was recommended to me too and both times that's all I've had so not sure if you can have sedation as well. The best tip I was given was to focus on my breathing...really concentrate...as 'forgetting' to breath is a common source of panic once the test is underway. Easier said than done, and I'm not a hypnotist so can't offer advice on techniques, but by focussing on my breathing the test seemed to be over very quickly and I gagged less.

Not sure how long ago you last had it done but the nurses did tell me that the equipment has improved of late (thinner) which helps, plus in my area at least I've a choice of where to have the test done - local hospital or a couple of dedicated NHS centres. If you have had a bad experience at a particular place / consultant then I wouldn't hesitate to request an appointment somewhere else if you can. The people performing the test can make a world of difference and personally I preferred my latest consultant who actually talked to me constantly throughout explaining what he was doing (although appreciate not everyone wants to hear that!). Ask for whatever approach you feel more comfortable with.

Best of luck with the test - hope everything turns out well.




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Barry


03/6/2014 at 2:02pm
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Sorry to hear you have to go through it all again weegmack, I will be thinking of you.x


03/6/2014 at 2:20pm
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Thanks so much supertrooper78.xxx


BCML - There's only the one place for me to go - but it's a different consultant this time, so maybe that will help. I totally hear what you're saying about the throat spray. I think the sedation just makes it impossible to control yourself. I just don't think I'm brave enough. I might just see how I feel on the day. When I had my laparoscopy in March, I made myself tell the nurses how I was feeling and they were so nice and helpful. The last time I had an endoscopy I just didn't say a word - sat there in the waiting room in silence. So, I think I must make myself tell them all that I feel. The last one was about 4 years ago. So perhaps things will be easier! xx

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Gillian



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