Colonoscopy

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hello Slight smile

I had emergency surgery 6 weeks ago for what the doctors thought was my appendix but turns out it was not my appendix . During the operation they found lots of free fluid and on my discharge paperwork says the right colon and proximal tranverse colon were thickened and red. They thought it could be colitis but the tests were negative so this was ruled out. I have a colonoscopy a week today to rule out more sinister pathology in the right colon. I am in my early 20s. I'm feeling really nervous about the procedure. I had my phone consultation and they seemed lovely but I don't know what to expect. 

Thank you! Slight smile 

  • Hi  and welcome to the board. Colonoscopies are basically a small camera in a tube which is inserted in your bottom and then gently moved round the length of your bowel and colon to have a good look. 

    Prep - moviprep is the most commonly used and consists of 2 sachets of powder which are mixed with water and drunk at the times advised on the pack ( depending on whether you have a morning or afternoon appointment). It’s not the most pleasant of drinks - think of lemon beechams with a good dash of salt. It’s best drunk cold so mix it up and put it in the fridge for a bit. I used to take 3 or 4 big slurps through a wide straw then a good swig of lemonade to take the taste away. It’s important to finish both doses to give your bowel a good clear out. You can mix the prep with cordial but try it on a small amount first in case it make it worse. You need to avoid any coloured drinks like blackcurrant and you’ll be given a list of what you can eat and drink in the run up to the appointment - the emptier the bowel the better.

    Toilet - the moviprep is a laxative so you will need to stay near a toilet. You might want to have some wet wipes to hand and something soothing like Vaseline or sudocream as your bottom may get a bit sore. Eventually you will be passing liquid but it’s still important to finish both doses - they often ask! 

    Sedation - you’ll be offered sedation which is through a cannula in the back of your hand or gas and air. If you have the sedation then you can’t drive yourself home and need someone with you for 24 hours afterwards. I’ve had 2 colonoscopies and had sedation both times - you’re awake and can see and hear what’s going on but very relaxed.

    Colonoscopy - you’ll be invited to change into a hospital gown and put on some pants with a gap at the back. You’ll lie on your side on a table and the procedure will begin. There is a screen where you can watch what’s going on if you wish. There may be samples taken of any suspicious areas or polyps but you can’t feel anything.

    Afterwards - you’ll be taken to a bed where you can come round a bit and given a cup of tea and some toast or biscuits. Once you feel back with it then you’ll have a chat with a nurse about the procedure and given sone paperwork describing what they’ve done. Any samples taken will be sent for testing.

    Hope this helps and feel free to ask if there’s anything that you’re worried about

    Take care

    Karen x

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm