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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Can anyone share thoughts on colonoscopy without sedation?

    I have had a positive bowel scan and now need a colonoscopy and would prefer to have it without sedation, and I am interested to hear from anyone who has experience with this.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

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    HealthShare Member

    Thank you featherfinder:)  I will take a look at Dr Oz's site.  I just prefer  to steer clear of any type of drugs if I can…

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    HealthShare Member

    Just thought I'd add that I did have the colonoscopy without sedation and it was MUCH more uncomfortable than I imagined, pretty painful at times and had to have just a small shot of sedation so that they could get around the last corner of my colon, but not enough to go to sleep.  However it was fascinating to watch it all on the screen, even watching them remove the polyps was great.  Have to have another one in 5 years so not sure what I'll do about sedation then.

  • Bowel Cancer Australia is the leading community-funded charity dedicated to prevention, early diagnosis, research, quality treatment and care for everyone affected by bowel cancer. We … View Profile

    Thank you very much for your enquiry.

    Due to the detailed nature of your question it is quite difficult to answer in an online forum.

    If you'd like to send your question through to Bowel Cancer Australia's Nurse Adviser we'd be very happy to get in contact with you to talk about your reasons for not wanting sedation during Colonoscopy, and provide some individualised advice.

    You can send your questions to us using the web form available at

    In the meantime you may also be interested to read some of the information available on the Bowel Cancer Australia website including:

    •Bowel Cancer: Tests and Investigations -

    We look forward to receiving your questions and to offering you some tailored advice.

    Kind Regards,
    The team at Bowel Cancer Australia

    Please Note: The information provided by Bowel Cancer Australia’s Nurse and Nutritionist Advisory Services is intended for Australian residents as a reference guide only. It is not a substitute for independent professional advice and is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or disorder.

    If you believe your symptoms are consistent with those of bowel cancer or a digestive illness, please consult your doctor.

    Bowel Cancer Australia, its directors, officers or medical professionals shall not be liable to any person, company or any other body for any loss, direct or indirect or consequential on whatsoever account for any omission or negligent misstatement.

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    Dr Michael Swan


    Michael Swan is a Gastroenterologist specialising in endoscopy, pancreaticobiliary disease and gastrointestinal cancer screening. Michael trained in clinical endoscopy with leaders in the field both … View Profile

    Colonoscopy without sedation is possible although not common in Australia. In other countries around the world such as Japan, USA and in several countries in Europe, unsedated colonoscopy is a common practice.
    There is no requirement for sedation to be given during a colonoscopy (or any endoscopy) apart from the comfort for the patient undergoing the procedure. An unsedated colonoscopy will be uncomfortable, however it can be generally be completed without significant pain.  Having performed many unsedated colonoscopies I can vouch personally for this last statement. 
    On the other hand, the sedation is generally well tolerated and the medications used currently have a short effect of action so you shouldn't have any ongoing effects from the medications given. 
    I would suggest discussing it beforehand with the doctor doing the procedure.  

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    I had it the first time today was hORRIBLE !! because off my stomach issues it hurt so bad i screamed .. i prefer to be knocked out like before not liking this sedate you a little meaning a valium and thats it nothig twilight about it.. i was akwake and in a lot of pain! 

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