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c3shooter 11-19-2013 11:41 PM

Health Note- Colonoscopy
There was briefly some discussion of this the other day. Since I just underwent this procedure YESTERDAY, thought I would put some info out there for my fellow "well seasoned" folks- ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE NOT HAD THIS DONE.

First, if you are not close to 50, don't have a family history of colon cancer, don't have symptoms that would prompt your Doc to order this test, you can stop reading- unless you are just bored or snoopy. Polyps (growths on the walls of the bowels) seem to take about 15 yrs to become cancerous, and folks under 50 are generally at low risk.

However, if, like me, you are the shady side of 50 (REAL shady!)- your Doc may be telling you to have this done. My Doc is a lady- former Air Force Doc. Used to dealing with contrary pilots. After my last physical, she checked my chart, asked when I had had my last 'scoping. Me? Never!

After a bit of Yes ma'am, no ma'am, thank you ma'am, please don't beat me no more ma'am, I agreed that it would be a good idea when I got the time, and she told me if the test was clear, would not need another for 10 years.

AND THEN THAT HORRID WOMAN DID THE ULTIMATE DIRTY DEED! She contacted the Gastroenterologist, and told HIM I needed a 'scoping!

Ah well- I am a man of my word- pick a date, carry thru. So- what should you expect?

First, the prep is not pleasant, but not horrible. The procedure is a non event. Risk of problems from the exam is very low (0.3%). IF they should find polyps during the exam, they are removed using tools on the scope (either laser or hot wire). Recovery time? 25 minutes. Best part- my medical insurance is a high deductible- BUT- when performed as a preventive measure- no deductible- they whole cost is covered. Your mileage may vary.

Now to the gory details- first the prep, then the procedure. This was mine, yours may differ, but this is pretty standard.

Your bowel needs to be empty. Day before the procedure, no food, only clear liquids. That includes back coffee, tea, beef, chicken or vegetable broth. Water, soda- nothing with red dye. You can have yellow jello. No booze.

To keep from getting dehydrated, you will drink. A LOT. 2 quarts of Gatorade, and FOUR quarts of apple juice during that day and evening. Late in the day, 2 tablets of laxative, followed in a couple of hours with multiple doses of a laxative powder, mixed with apple juice or Gatorade. Instructions said stay near a toilet, Should have said stay IN the toilet.

If you have been to Mexico, and drank the water, and ate from the local tacqueria, you know what is about to happen. Go with the flow. Take a couple of good books along, a can of air freshener (and some Gatorade)

IMPORTANT NOTE: BABY WIPES. Store them in the fridge, take along when you go to the potty. You will need them, you can thank me later. Plan on being occupied for the evening.

Day of: Clear liquids up until 2 hours before procedure.

Procedure: You are going to sleep thru most of this. Undress, gown, lay down. They will start an IV with normal saline. Usually set you up with a little oxygen. Roll onto your left side. Say hello to the nice Nurse Anesthetist. You are about to meet Propfol, which is so damned good folks ask for some to take home. Injected into your IV, you have about 4 seconds to stay awake, and say goodnight, Gracie. Really. In about 30 minutes, you will wake up in recovery. It's over, and you missed it. No hangover, no headache- but they DO want someone to drive you home, and stay away from driving bulldozers, airplanes and signing up for the Foreign Legion for 12 hours.

Next day? No problems. Little gas (yes, they do inflate the bowel with air to smooth out wrinkles). But no problems- and I do not do this for another 10 years.

BTW- if you wonder- the scope is about as big around as your little finger, yes, they take pictures, and it goes all the way to your appendix.

If you have never had this- the prep is not pleasant, but far from the worst time I've ever had in the john. Procedure- no pain during, no discomfort after. Really- a non event. And it could save your life.

orangello 11-19-2013 11:59 PM

"Hot wire"? I thought that was for borrowing cars.

When you say "no booze," does that just mean shots, or mixed drinks too? Nothing like a good kamikaze when you are gonna be in the can for a while.

Thankfully, I am under 50, but I do have a multi-generational family history on Mom's side of the tree (yes it forks). I'll go in at 50 if they haven't got the capsule camera mainstream yet, and if something else doesn't get me first.

c3shooter 11-20-2013 12:04 AM

Alcohol dehydrates you. No shots, no Pina Coladas, no Rum & Cokes. No beer, no wine. Nada.

John_Deer 11-20-2013 12:15 AM

I actually woke up during my colonoscopy. (My family Dr sent a note saying I have a high tolerance to medications like propofol) I could see my insides on a Tv screen. Then I went back to sleep. But I can remember everything during the time I was awake.

p35bhp55 11-20-2013 12:19 AM

My prep was quite different, got a gallon jug with some stuff in it that you had to drink so many ozs every ten minutes. Other than that it was the same, ugh. But the nap was good.

purehavoc 11-20-2013 12:19 AM

This is on my agenda over the next couple of years because im getting close so I read it all. Just had a ACL reconstruction, bone spurs removed and regrind of all the cartilage in the knee socket last tuesday . They did the IV injection to knock me out and they kindly asked me to slide over from my rolling bed to the surgery table , well guess what they hit the anestesia about 10 seconds to soon , because all I remembered was her saying I needed to slide over and never made it to the table .. 2 hrs of surgery and it felt like I closed my eyes and reopened them and it was all over . The wife was so kind to record my wake up which I will get her back one day for . She showed me and I was being a whiney baby that wanted to go shoot machine guns when we got outta there . So at least I had my priorities right :D . Also something about finding the cheetah but what ever . Hope to go back to work soon because she is driving me nuts

boatme98 11-20-2013 12:59 AM

A necessary evil at our age.
And if you've ever been abducted by aliens, this is MUCH less invasive. :eek:
I swear, some alien overlord just has an azz fetish. There's no need for all that. :mad:

F4U 11-20-2013 01:07 AM

Got another year before I need to redo mine. not looking forward to the "night of a thousand waterfalls". I woke up to the dr. and my then wife talking, to this day I don't know whether I will be dead in 5 years or I need to redo the test in 5 years, but something is gonna happen in 5 years. :eek:

On a more serious note my dad and my maternal grandfather had polyps in their 60s and 70s. Grandads had been cancerous when thy were found, but were cut out before they took hold. He died of natural causes 15 years later, in his late 80s.

One of my best friends dad died of colon cancer in his early 50s, all 3 of his boys get tested every 2 or 3 years as they are now in their early to mid 50s, so far so good.

Sgt_Skrb_25 11-20-2013 01:21 AM

Damn guys, I still have 15 years to go and now I am going to have nightmares. I will how ever need to get my oil checked here in 5 years. I will begin researching for little Asian lady proctologist with baby fingers. The last thing I need is a Tony Robbins sausage finger mofo diging for gold.

partdeux 11-20-2013 01:24 AM

pfft, mine in a couple of weeks, but I also get the joy of them going in the other end too :( Father in law suggested they do that end first to avoid leaving a bad taste in my mouth :eek:

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