I just had a colonoscopy and I believed they hooked me to an IV and injected a sedative of some sort, but it wasn't really effective as even though I was drowsy, I never went to sleep, and was fully conscious and aware (mentally and physically) of the colonoscopy. Is it normal for patients to be awake during their colonoscopy or are we to be completely knocked out?


No, you are not supposed to get full anesthesia for a colonoscopy. Anesthesia is too dangerous and only used in really invasive procedures.

Colonoscopies are sometimes done without any medication (the physiologically safest way) and sometimes with sedation. Sedation means that you get something to keep you calm, not that you are put to sleep. That's what you had in your procedure.

See for example http://lup.lub.lu.se/search/record/1136597 for numbers. Nowhere is anesthesia even mentioned.

  • 1
    I don't know where you're getting this info. Colonoscopies in the US are routinely done under anesthesia.
    – Carey Gregory
    Nov 5 '16 at 1:33
  • The study you cite is 10 years old, and the full text states that 30% received "deep sedation" so anesthesia most certainly is mentioned.
    – Carey Gregory
    Nov 5 '16 at 1:40

Surely it depends on local guidelines, you could be given propofol or benzodiazepines but it can be done on hypnosis or acupuncture or on nothing. You could get a PTSD afterwards. It is a serious procedure and has a perforation risks and is not wide-spread today thanks to modern ultrasound, CT and MRI and PET.

  • 2
    PTSD? Colonoscopy isn't widely used? There isn't much about this answer that's right, at least in modern western countries.
    – Carey Gregory
    Nov 5 '16 at 1:32
  • I agree with the above comment. You need references to back up the information you've written, so that we don't have to question it.
    – michaelpri
    Jan 5 '17 at 2:10

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