If you have never had a colonoscopy, you may be a little worried about the procedure itself. Since it is a very private part of the body where the camera is inserted, you have the choice of being awake or asleep for the procedure. Most doctors would recommend anesthesia, but many patients do not like the idea of feeling violated in their sleep. Additionally, if the doctor tells you after you wake up that some surgery is necessary, how can you say no when you did not see anything? There are pros and cons to being awake or asleep, but you should know what they are before you make your own decision.
Choosing to Be Awake
When you are awake for the procedure, you are aware of the doctor and nurses in the room. You know each step of the procedure as the doctor moves the camera along inside your colon looking for health problems. Although you can request a saddle block anesthetic, you will still feel some pressure in your abdomen as the camera moves along. On the flip side, you can see everything inside your own colon on a screen. Your doctor points out areas of concern, and explains why they are troublesome. When you see a polyp, a laceration, inflammation, or other colon damage, you learn about the problems you are experiencing and how your doctor can treat them.
Choosing to Be Asleep
Some people find the aspect of viewing their own viscera too nauseating and therefore more terrifying than the thought of a camera in the rectum. Ergo, general anesthesia is applied and you sleep through the entire procedure, which is rarely more than an hour long. If you ask your doctor in advance, he or she can take pictures of any areas of your colon that he or she thinks could be a serious health problem. That way, you do not have to see the entire video footage of your colon and can still make the choice to address these concerns. Also, you never feel any of the physical discomfort that you would have had you chosen to remain awake.
If Biopsies Are Part of Your Procedure
In the event that biopsies are part of your procedure, your doctor cannot and will not take them if you are awake. He or she will insist that you need to be completely anesthetized in order to perform minor surgery. Some doctors will not give you the option in the off-chance that they might need to do a biopsy because it means that you would have to undergo a colonoscopy again while under general anesthesia. These same doctors prefer this single procedure approach, and then address any additional surgeries you may need later on.
To learn more, visit Lincoln Surgical Group PC.