Sedation for Ileoscopy: Necessary or Not?


Howdy fellow poop-baggers,

I want my doc to check out my small bowel, so I'm about to schedule my first ileoscopy through my front butt. Anybody have that done recently? I'm thinking I won't need any sedation (or the obligatory ride to and from the hospital), but wanted to be sure. If sedation is required (I'm not seeing why), then I need to do the "find a friend" thing and get a ride. But wanted to see if I could just drive to and fro myself before I started inconveniencing folks.




This one I can answer, as I get a scope every 5 years.

According to our hospital rules here, you must have someone take you home and monitor you for a bit - mainly because of liability or adverse reactions such as bleeding. This does not mean a taxi driver either. You must be escorted out by a friend or family member. I felt capable of driving myself but – hospital rules. Therein lies the 'pain' of it all.

Before the procedure, you are given a 'relaxing' intravenous. You can be awake during the whole painless process. The doctor would say, "Now I am rounding the corner so you will feel a bit of pressure ..." and so on. I talked with my doctor during the whole time. He described the journey while I watched it unfold on his monitor. You can, however, ask to be given a sedative which means you are in lala land the whole time.

Everyone is different. The procedure room is just like an assembly line - next, next, next ... You got this Bob. Perhaps find out from your hospital first. Just, K.

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For an ileostomy, no sedation or gas is required. It's completely pain-free, just some slight discomfort when they put air in, as they do with all scopes. With my condition, FAP, I've been having scopes for over 30 years yearly through my stoma and never had a problem. With an ileo, the scope won't go in any further than 24" at best and rarely even gets that far. Colostomy is different as it has to go through your colon. They usually recommend gas or air, but as I don't have a colostomy, I'm sure someone who has one can say more on that.


Colonoscopy and always need a ride.

NJ Bain

I had no idea they could do an ileoscopy! I thought it was too dangerous and had the potential to puncture the small intestine. When did this become a thing?


Words of Encouragement from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister

Thanks guys!

Bain, they're doing mine with a flex sig, so it's the thinnest scope they have (used on infants routinely), so without the Big Bertha Colonoscopy fire hose they normally use for colonoscopies there's less chance of puncture/rupture. There's still a chance, but it's greatly reduced. And if he punctures me with it I'm gonna wrap it around his head and strangle the bitch. Hmmm..........maybe they better put me under.

I've had a colonoscopy done without anesthesia........and I'll say I very highly DO NOT recommend it. Doc said he'd never seen anyone take that amount of pain before. I didn't have a choice.......I needed to get scoped and couldn't find a ride. But won't ever do it again. Besides the's a bit embarrassing when you have to let all that air out of your butt, and with the lube for the scope in our ass it feels like you got the shits real bad. Ahhh....the joys of gastroenterology!




Hi Bob, I had never heard of this, so I looked it up. I am sure you have to. Here is the link I found. It tells you about with and without sedation. It also talks about the side effects that can possibly happen. It is a quick procedure. When I have to get the stent between my bladder and kidney changed every six months, it is a fast procedure and has some of the same side effects. Only I have to be put to sleep. I would think they would want sedation to be used for your procedure to be sure you don't move. Anyway, best wishes and let us know.


Hello Bob, I think the best thing to do is to check with your doctor or doctor's office.

I would imagine that the safe thing to do is to have someone with you.

If I lived closer to you, I would gladly drive you to the hospital for your procedure.

Let us all know how things go. I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Mike (from Lakewood, Ohio)


Hi Mike,

Yes, will definitely check with the Dr's office.   I've been calling them, but it's one of those weird weeks.........all the Docs want off so the residents are running the show.   And I trust you folks more than any resident.   So I will find out what the plan is for anesthesia, but figured I'd ask y'all first.    

Thanks everyone!



Well now I have had this procedure tried on me. Got the prep - and it dehydrated me so bad they couldn't get an IV in - 14 sticks later they gave me some nice drugs and I was out. When I woke up, the doc said he couldn't even pass the tube as I was a mass of scar tissue. So the answer is yes - but failed. I have had 4 revisions, a failed J-pouch, and obstructions. I guess I am great at making scar tissue to the point my stoma wants to grow closed.


Hi Judi,

Your IV ordeal sounds horrendous! At the common "2 sticks and you're out" rule of thumb, you went through 7 sticks! My veins look great from the outside, but love to roll at the last second when they try to stick me. Then the twisting and sticking it deeper thing happens, until they hit a nerve or tendon and I'm up on the ceiling. You'd think God would have given everyone an easy access port somewhere on our bodies for just such a thing.

Yeah, scar tissue always forms where the intestine has been cut... I've had to deal with plenty of it post resections. It's about as much fun as adhesions, but it sounds like you're really being put through the ringer!

I guess the one good thing about being short-gutted is I don't need any prep. I just have to not eat for a couple of hours and my junk is clean as a whistle! And I sure don't miss those bowel preps! I remember the first time I got one... I handed the pharmacist my prescription and he handed me back an empty gallon container with a little white powder in the bottom. I said, "What do I do with this?" He just smiled and pointed to the directions. I read them and said, "You're kidding, right? I have to drink this whole gallon of stuff in an hour?" He just shook his head. I said, "Does it at least taste good?" He laughed and then said, "Of course not!" And he was right. I think I did manage to hold down more than I puked up... but it was not fun. Sorry you have to deal with that shit!

I did speak to my doc, and she told me they would be anesthetizing me for the procedure... probably because I ask so many questions when I'm awake. So I won't be able to watch the fun or ask them if they washed the scope after using it on the previous patient. Oh well... guess I'll just have to watch the video when I get home.




There would not be procedures like this if they were not safe, plus having a great relationship with and trust in your medical team always helps. And because you have an ileostomy, you don't have to drink as much water as everything goes straight through anyway. A little sedation can be a good thing, while overanalysis is never a good thing.

You got this, Bob. Between you and me, I would rather give birth than go see a dentist. I feel like a horse when they freeze my teeth – seven needles and counting and a few in between the procedure. But, it sure beats a cavity when all is said and done. The end outweighs the means. Different strokes for different folks. Just, K.


Hey Bob, back in my pre-bellybutt past life I went in for an upper endoscopy and colonoscopy at the same time. While I was still awake I told the doc and 2 nurses, "Now make sure you do my mouth first!"

No one laughed.

Good luck with the procedure, Bob. I too didn't realize these were performed.


Hi GraphX12,

Yeah, there seems to be a general lack of sense of humor once they wheel you into the procedure room.   Last time I was there, the anesthesiologist was working his magic and I looked at him and said.......ok, you can put me under any time you want.   And he just looked at me and're not getting sleepy?....and I said nope, feel great..........long story short, they had missed my vein with the IV and my forearm was filling with anesthesia. I thought it was pretty funny, but no one else in there did.    



You're right, Bob. I wish they could understand that a good sense of humor can make these "uncomfortable" situations a bit easier. I wasn't sure if it was my "bad" joke or the fact that I'm an hour away from Lambeau Field and I was wearing my Bears shirt :-)


Just a guess... but probably the Bears shirt. They're funny that way.



Past Member

So I have frequently had ileoscopy with no anesthesia, no prep, have driven myself there and gone back to work. GI doc usually gave me a choice (he recently retired), unless he knew he needed to pass the scope a little higher or knew of some issue like necrosis or twisting or something, then I didn't have a choice, but if it was just a routine annual exam or something I almost always opted to pass on the happy juice.