having a colonoscopy

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I have had a colonoscopy once before, about 5 years ago.  I always have sedation and the last time, I went out like a light.  Remember having a brief "ouch" moment, but they gave me something over the nose and the next thing I am waking up in recovery.  Wasn't like that the other day.  I wasn't a bit drowsy and wide awake for the whole thing.

I have also had loads of endoscopies over the the years and until last year when again the sedation just didn't work.  I thought I was choking and tried to take the scope out, but was restrained. I also heaved my heart up.  When I checked the sedation  later on my note, it was Midazalam, or something spelt like that !  

Why was a fairly successful and pleasant procedure that used to be gone in the opposite direction ?

I would welcome to hear if anybody else has experienced all of this.

Thank you


  • Hi again  I had a colonoscopy in 2016 when I was diagnosed and again in 2021 when I was discharged. Both times I’ve been offered gas and air or mild sedation. I’ve had mild sedation each time which was administered through a cannula. I was awake enough to watch what was going on on the screen but just very relaxed? Not had an endoscopy so Im afraid I can’t help there x

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  • Hi  

    I had 2 ERCP procedures last year-first time I honestly felt they hadn’t used any sedation, so when it was done a second time I asked for it to be increased. Each time I had both Midazolam and Fentanyl, with an increased dose on the second procedure-quite a significant increase according to my notes, 

    To be honest I was aware of everything and found them quite difficult to go through because each procedure lasted around 45 minutes. Personally, I didn’t feel any benefit from the sedation, but I don’t know whether I was unusual in that. I’ve never had a colonoscopy and will never have a regular one now I have a stoma, but to be honest I expected more benefit from sedation so was disappointed. 

    Sarah xx

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  • Hi Angela

    ive just had my first colonoscopy following bowel surgery, I had sedation but can honestly say I was wide awake and felt everything I was not impressed with my sedation at all, I was uncomfortable through out the 45 min experience and unfortunately I have to have another in three months as they were unable to get 100% the way around. I will be requesting better sedation fingers crossed I don’t feel as much.


  • Sorry to hear this.  We shouldn't have to suffer in this day & age.

  • Again like another member, sorry to hear your experience was not as it should be.

  • Hi.

    The Midazolam is just a local rather than general.

    During consultant strikes, I had a wonderful Nurse do mine. She opted to give me Entonox (inhal) plus Fentanyl + Midazolam (IVs). I found that combination, wrapped up nicely in her general and caring style, enabled me to tolerate the procedure well.

    Have you asked what alternatives they could offer you and whether GAs are an option for you?

  • Thanks for replying.  I haven't had chance to ask for other options, but I have complained via PALS after I had my endoscopy last year.  I was told it would go on my notes with my concern, but obviously not.   It just angers me that what used to work properly for a while, has been turned on the head and changed the sedation drugs.   If it ain't broke, don't fix it comes to mind.  We shouldn't have to suffer unnecessary discomfort in this day and age.

  • Hi I had to advocate strongly to get sedation  nurse kept telling me it would be fine without it.I did get it  but not enough  very painful upsetting experience  large tumour found and I had   no comforting words from.anyone .I lay there while they talked about my tumour and tattooed margins, it was a surreal horrible experience. I was then put in a room and left ,eventually a nurse came in and said are you not dressed yet  ,I told her no one had asked me to.Kindness came when a consultant came and told me I had cancer. I am dreading next one and I will have to have one annually gir 5 years. 

  • Hex, I'm so sorry to hear this, but not surprised.  What you experienced was appalling.  If you have a PALS in the hospital, tell them about your treatment.    Have you got to have chemo or radiotherapy?  Let me know how you get on.Hugging