Colonoscopies. I know the visual. So do you.
If you really think about it, it should be horrible, and if you were awake it probably would be. But it's not. Not even close.
And if you never had one, here's what you'll experience:
- Someone will put a little IV needle in the back of your hand; does not hurt.
- An anaesthesiologist will inject a syringe full of milky white liquid into the port; this does not hurt either.
- Try to count to 10.
- You better count fast or you won't make it past five.
- You will wake up from the best nap you've had, feeling perfectly fine.
- You will he hungry.
- An hour later you'll be walking out of the facility looking for a donut shop.
Does this sound scary? No and it's not, thanks to the coolest drug around: Propofol.
It is referred to as "milk of amnesia," because it looks just like the laxative, and most people wake up wondering when the procedure will start.
Propofol is a great anaesthetic. Unlike traditional general anaesthetics, it will not make you sick. In fact, it is sometimes used to combat nausea and vomiting after surgery.
It's cleared from your blood very quickly, so you wake up very quickly and feel groggy either briefly, or not at all.
And, if the doctor sees any polyps in the colon, they will be removed, and well before they become cancerous. Colon cancer is terrible to get, but terribly easy to prevent.
The only downside to the whole thing is the day before: the prep. It is unpleasant, and there is no disputing that. But there are a number of different formulas some worse than others. Of course, without the prep, which cleans you out (and good), the gastroenterologist will not be able to see what he/she is doing. There are a few foods you can eat that day, one of them being Jello (but not red). It is unlikely that you will ever crave Jello again.
All in all, it's not all that bad. You drink a bunch of nasty-tasting stuff, take a nap, eat donuts, and maybe avoid Jello for the rest of your life.
Almost 50,000 will die from colorectal cancer in a given year. Why be one of them?