View Full Version : Wondering what it's like to have a sigmoidoscopy?

07-01-16, 17:24
Just over a month ago I was sat in the consultant's office. He was confident he'd found the cause of my bowel issues, but said I could have a flexible sigmoidoscopy to put my mind at rest. Stupidly, I said yes. I then spent the next month wondering what the hell I was doing. A colleague had had a colonoscopy not long beforehand and made it sound hellish; in one of the other threads on here a woman actually said it was worse than childbirth. All in all, I was terrified of what I'd agreed to.

So, what was it like? Well, I can honestly say the worst part of this morning was peeling the plaster off when I got home.

On the day

My pain threshold is virtually non-existent and I was petrified of the procedure, so despite hating needles I opted for the sedative/pain killer as the lesser of two evils. It was the first time I'd had a cannula put in, but to my relief it really wasn't an issue; my 11-month old pinches harder than that.

I wasn't really aware of feeling sedated at any point. It did hurt a little when the doctor inserted his finger at the beginning of the procedure, but no worse than when my GP/consultant did. Shortly after that they began to insert the colonoscope and I kept wondering when it would be all the way in. Turned out it already was.

The dreaded gas they use to expand the colon didn't actually give me any real pain, but instead a feeling (not surprisingly) of being inflated. A little over-inflated, admittedly. It wasn't fun, but it genuinely didn't hurt. I could also faintly make out the scope itself sliding along inside my gut. Then after what only seemed like a couple of minutes it was all done.

To be fair, the nurses tell me everyone is different and it's likely the sedative played a part in my experience, even though I wasn't aware of it having any effect. Likewise, I appreciate a full colonoscopy is more invasive. But I have to be the biggest wimp out there and I could have quite easily had another one this afternoon.

No big deal

I hope this helps anyone in a similar position. I cannot state how apprehensive I'd been about the procedure, not least from some of the comments I'd read on the internet.

To anyone wondering what to do I'd suggest going for the sedative. Even for a needle-phobic who's never had an anesthetic before it was fine.