Find out what an endoscopy procedure is, what happens and how you can prepare yourself for it.

Media last reviewed: 16/03/2013

Next review due: 16/03/2015

Is having an endoscopy painful?

In the majority of cases, no.

Most people will only experience some mild discomfort, similar to indigestion or having a sore throat. 

The exception is keyhole surgery, such as a laparoscopy or an arthroscopy, which are performed under general anaesthetic (where you are asleep).

Discuss any concerns with staff at the hospital or clinic. They may recommend that you are sedated so you are more relaxed during the procedure.

An endoscopy is a procedure where the inside of your body is examined using an endoscope.


An endoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube that has a light source and a video camera at one end. Images of the inside of your body are relayed to a television screen.

Endoscopes can be inserted into the body through a natural opening, such as the mouth and down the throat, or through the anus (via the bottom).

Alternatively, an endoscope can be inserted through a small surgical cut made in the skin (known as keyhole surgery).

What happens during an endoscopy?

An endoscopy is normally carried out while a person is conscious. It is not usually painful, but can be uncomfortable, so a local anaesthetic or sedative (medication that has a calming effect) may be given to help you relax.

The endoscope is carefully inserted into your body. Exactly where it enters your body will depend on the part of the body being examined.

An endoscopy can take 60 minutes to carry out, depending on what it's being used for. It will usually be performed on an outpatient basis, which means you will not have to stay in hospital overnight.

Read more about how an endoscopy is performed.


An endoscopy is usually safe, and the risk of serious complications is low.

Possible complications of an endoscopy include an infection in the part of the body that the endoscope is used to examine, and excessive bleeding.

Read more about the risks of an endoscopy.

Types of endoscopes

Some of the most commonly used types of endoscopes include:

  • colonoscopes  used to examine your large intestine (colon)
  • gastroscopes  used to examine your oesophagus and stomach
  • endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)  used to check for gallstones
  • broncoscopes  used to examine your lungs and airways

Other types of endoscope include:

An endoscopy can be used to investigate an area of the body if symptoms suggest there might be a problem. It can also be used to help perform some types of keyhole surgery (laparoscopy), such as removing the appendix or gallbladder.

Read more about when an endoscopy is used.

Page last reviewed: 29/07/2014

Next review due: 29/07/2016


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The 106 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

mariner1920 said on 13 November 2014

I had an endoscopy today. I was quite stressed about it in the days beforehand but I've had more painful experiences at the dentist! The consultant and staff were absolutely excellent, very professional, very concerned to help you through it. I had the spray (your throat goes numb instantly), then lay on my left side and the mouthguard inserted. Told to swallow and did so without feeling a thing. You can feel the camera a bit as it goes down but it is not painful. All over in two minutes. Brilliant. You must trust the consultant and nursing staff who are experienced and thorough in the way they prepare you both physically and mentally. I have had no side effects, not even a sore throat and no bloated feeling at all. For anyone due to have this procedure, do not worry. I wish now I hadn't expended all that nervous energy in worrying. The other thing is that you get a report almost instantly. I was relieved to find there was nothing untoward wrong and no follow up is needed by my GP. The NHS is just fantastic, world class and the people who worked in it are skilled and highly professional. Thank you NHS.

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A1crafter said on 07 November 2014

I was extremely nervous before my endoscopy and so opted for sedation. In Scotland we seem to have a choice of a throat spray or sedation therefore I was refused the throat spray. I retched all through the procedure and this did not please the attending staff who didn't seem to accept that I had no control over this reaction. All in all it was a most unpleasant, nightmarish experience and I would never wish to repeat it.

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vicky 67 said on 04 November 2014

I had my endoscope today and wanted to share my experience - I have worried for weeks about this and deliberated about having or not having sedation - and I can honestly say it is definitely not worth all the worry! I was very anxious and chose to have the sedation and it was the best choice ! The worst bit was the throat spray - yes it tastes horrid but the worst bit for me was the inability to swallow once your throat goes numb, you can still breathe normally but the strange sensation panicked me! Then the doctor gave me the sedation on the back of my hand and the next thing I can remember is waking up in the recovery room! It is exactly like being put to sleep! I had no gagging or anything! All I would say to anyone is you are all worried or anxious is have the sedation!

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nomadian said on 04 November 2014

After referral by my GP to my local hospital, the consultant decided that I should undergo an Endoscopy. I read up on here about what would be entailed and had mixed feelings about it all. I'm probably the biggest wuss, medically speaking, and my perception that everything will be painful! In reality, I needn't have worried.

I chose Sedation to ease me through it all. I had the throat spray too as standard, which was akin to a medicated mouth wash, on which I gagged slightly as it was applied. Then the sedative was injected into the back of my hand; I was aware of my throat becoming numb and the mouth guard being inserted into my mouth, then I was lying on my side. The next thing I recall was coming round in Recovery, where I remained until the unit staff were happy to let me go home; they even gave me something to eat and drink before I left.

I did not suffer any sore throat afterwards; I just slept and rested for the rest of the day.

In my experience, it was so much advance apprehension about nothing. The information supplied by my Hospital, Frimley Park in Surrey, was excellent. The unit personnel and doctor were first class in their approach, welfare and my treatment. I cannot fault them at all, and if anyone can use this as proof that the procedure is simple, then it will be worthwhile. You have nothing to worry about

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lana21xx said on 20 October 2014

Had mine done today. I was very nervous I must admit but i have to say the nurses were so lovely. I had the throat spray and sedation. The spray tasted like bananas and it made my throat feel like a big rock (i felt like i was going to be sick with it but wasn't) The sedation worked very well as i dont remember a thing. Unfortunally when the doctor tried putting the endscope in my throat I pushed them away (i was not aware of any of this happening) Last thing i knew i woke up in recovery but was told it was not successful and they couldn't do it due to me pushing the nurses away. I don't understand really why the nhs won't allow to be completely put to sleep during this procedure for those that are terrified. It wasn't as scary as i thought but still this option SHOULD be availble even if it takes 10 minutes. For people like me that do things without realizing it while under the light sedation it should be allowed. In different counties they DO allow this. I think the nhs honestly needs changes. giving up that fast wasn't fair really it was a 50 min drive for us for this appointment! I went to the addenbrookes hospital in cambridge . Again don't be afraid its not that scary but id say ask for sedation not the spray that can cause u do push the nurses away when ur under the light sedation. I just wish they would have tried again. a bit disappointing!

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nervy lady said on 12 October 2014

Took an age to register(!!) but wanted to share my experience of my endoscopy to try and put even one person at ease. Had 4 weeks knowing my appointment date and to say the least l was very anxious as the day drew near. Well, l had it this morning, a nice early appt that i'd asked for, first on the list, and it really wasnt as bad as l thought. l had the throat spray, wasnt nice but hey it numbed the throat and thats gotta be a good thing! Had sedation. Nurses were cheerful and caring, im sure this is true in most hospitals. The mouth piece was small, non intrusive with a hole for the scope. Just dont look the scope , it certainly was NOT as big as l imagined. l felt woozy straight away and can remember a slight gagging but it seemed to be over in seconds! weird, cos it must have been a good ten mins! Didnt hurt, didnt feel 'violated' just nice, like i'd had a bottle of wine lol! No after effects, bit drowsy but eating, cooking and drinking normally . Wish l hadnt have wasted many an hour worrying and fretting. lf your like me, just please dont worry, have the sedation and it will be over and your feel proud!! Good luck.x

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User910756 said on 09 October 2014

Hey girls and guys!

First of all breath... Trust me.

I had the dreaded endoscopy today, I won't lie to you it wasn't nice, and if given the option I would never have it done again, but I'm glad I did! It was worth it! So if you're worried, just do it anyway!

Unless you're super brave, have sedation! The tube isn't small like they state it's pretty fat! I was horrified.

I was absolutely scared for my life about having sedation, but honestly you don't remember anything!! (Well I've had a few flash backs) but nothing completey major!

You feel sleepy then bam you wake up in the recovery ward. Strange but amazing! I felt slightly sluggish after but apart from that, right as rain (well as good as I could be after an endoscopy).

The doctors and nurses were absolutely lovely and supportive of my nervous situation! I was probably there night mare patient (cringe).

However, trust me ... Have sedation and you'll be fine! Good luck and be brave - it doesn't last long :-)


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gallopingdonkey said on 30 September 2014

Just in case you are due for this, and are worried.........
I had this procedure the other day at Bolton Royal.
I'm the baby of the year, but managed just fine,

Just had the throat spray ( tastes like rubbery bananas) As long as you can keep concentrating on something else, you'll be fine. I didn't feel any pain, just weird at the adams apple. I'd liken to a numbed tooth being filled; it doesn't hurt, but you feel the vibrations. All over in about 5 minutes, and drinking tea a further five minutes after that. Don't worry.

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sammy257 said on 29 September 2014

I have had my endoscopy this morning... My appointment was at 8.15am I was out and home by 8.40am.

I opted for the throat spray as the hospital I went too only did this and not sedation. I had a chat with a nurse before hand and was offered gas and air to chill me out. I went into the room with 4 nurses who were all lovely. I was sat on the bed and given my gas and air and then my throat spray. I then lay on my left side and the camera was inserted into my throat. I gagged a lot and it felt really strange but i could tolerate it. They withdrew the camera from my throat and again I gagged but it lasted about 4 minutes and I was on my way home.

I spent hours reading all the experiences on here and worrying about it but I really didn't need too. I would recommend throat spray along with gas and air as you can just get on with your day. I also had a common cold which I thought would be an issue but it wasn't at all.

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TinaR said on 02 September 2014

I am due to have a colonoscopy in three days time. I am not to worried about the proceedure because i know its got to be done but can anyone tell me;
How long does it take for the sedation to wear off?
Do you have any problems with your bowels after? i.e leakage?
When are allowed to eat after?
My appointment came through the post on four days before the appointment and i am supposed to be going for a meal that evening (a really important event) so i want to know if i will be able to go.
I would so appreciate your comments.

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feelsuchawuss said on 27 July 2014

have previously had two gastroscopies, the first, with throat spray, was unpleasant as I have a strong gag reflex but I managed it. The second was with sedative (as I was also having a colonoscopy and was advised to) was also fine, even though the sedative did nothing in spite of them giving me a second dose. On Thursday I had to go for another gastroscopy. I wasn't particularly concerned, wasn't relishing the thought of all the gagging. The doctor was really nice and put me at my ease. I opted for the throat spray, he administered several sprays and my throat quickly went numb, I felt as though I couldn't swallow, and combined with a blocked nose and enlarged tonsils this made me feel a bit weird and slightly breathless. When the tooth guard was placed I my mouth I felt worse for some reason. He started to insert the camera, with me gaging like mad, when we got to the part where he told m to swallow I couldn't, I felt as if I was choking and pushed him ad the camera away. I was so embarrassed and apologised to him, he asked if I wanted to try again and I said yes. My breathing was better this time, however, as the tube went down I panicked and signalled to stop . I don't know why this should happen when I have been fine before. The nurse said it could have been the heat, it was 29degrees. I just felt so claustrophobic as if I was choking and think it may have been a panic attack. So now I have to go back and have it with sedative, but as sedatives don't normally sedate me, I am really worried and can't stop thinking about it. Has anyone any advice please

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daaaanielle said on 11 July 2014

I had an endoscopy of my stomach done today. I know many people who've had them and was told it was horrific, horrendous, and that I was definitely to get sedated! I'm only 18 and am a massive worrier, so you can imagine the state I was in. When I got to the hospital, I was told I'd be sedated, but then I think they forgot? So in I went, got my throat spray, no sedation, and just went for it! Everyone's different but I honestly had no problems whatsoever. I gagged several times which felt awful (always does) and as a whole it's a weird experience! The nurses were fantastic, playing with my hair, encouraging me and wiping my eyes when they streamed. but honestly, for anyone that's going for one, there's a lot of horror stories on here but I just want to reassure you that you might surprise yourself with how you cope, I certainly did! Ps, I'd encourage anyone not to get sedated, straight in and out :-)

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Dave M 100 said on 03 July 2014

Today 3rd July, I had an endoscopy and colonoscopy at The QA Portsmouth. I had been very very anxious about this procedure, especially the endoscopy as I have a terrible gag reflex. I opted for a sedative (Midazolam) and I remember lying on my side as the doctor injected me with the drug and the nurse placed a mouth guard in my mouth. The next thing I recall is feeling pain n my stomach area as gas was pumped in to facilitate the smooth passage of the colonoscopy camera. This pain lasted a couple of minutes and I was whinging about it I remember, but then I woke in the recovery area feeling pretty chilled out with it all done. I knew nothing about the camera going down my throat!!

So what did I learn about this:- I am male.

1. Do not be afraid, it's a piece of cake, and I am the world' biggest baby!!

2. Always plump for a sedative,,,much the nicer way to go. If you have a sedative, don't plump for a throat spray, it's pointless.

3. Be confident in the staff looking after you..they do this day in and day out.

Finally STOP WORRYING RIGHT NOW - you will be fine!!!

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shan freeman said on 02 July 2014

I had my endoscopy yesterday. On a scale of 1 to 10 for how nervous I felt I was a 1. I opted for the throat spray, it makes your throat feel twice as large and feels like you can't swallow, I suppose this is because its numb but breathing was no problem. Its rather an odd feeling having the camera moving about in your stomach and it did make me retch a lot. I was reassured constantly by the nurses and they even let me squeeze their hand. I had to have a couple of biopsies taken and although I was told I wouldn't feel anything I'm sure I did on the second one. The doctor kept me informed all the time while the nurse talked to me constantly. I read on here about keeping your mind off what's going on but I found that impossible. Yes its uncomfortable and not very nice having an Endoscopy but its not life threatening and it doesn't actually hurt, its just uncomfortable, I was left with a sore throat the rest of the day but I'm back to normal again today.

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anna_lou_m said on 13 June 2014

Hello, I had my endoscopy today. After reading about some peoples bad experiences, I must admit that I was quite nervous. I decided to just go for the throat spray because it is a quick procedure and I wanted to be able to get on with the rest of my day. I have to admit that the procedure wasn't particularly pleasant, and I did struggle to swallow the camera. Unfortunately there was a bit of gagging and retching involved but ultimately the procedure was successful and I was in an out of the procedure room within 10 minutes. Given that the procedure is so short, and despite the fact that it wasn't pleasant, I would still not opt for sedation if I had to have a second endoscopy as I don't think it's worth it. Five minutes of discomfort and you're done.

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Shaw1 said on 13 June 2014

Had my endoscopy today, not wanting to scare anyone, but I found it traumatic. My advice go for sedation. I had to take the throat spray as I'm 20 weeks pregnant. I have a very strong gag reflex, coughing can make me sick, so the throat spray is not ideal if your like me! The dr did manage to see into my stomach but couldn't treat the ulcer because of this. The nurses and the doctor were lovely and kind and very caring, I wasn't nervous before hand, I knew this needed to be done. I just couldn't cope with the procedure. So waiting for the birth of my baby to try again, sedated this time! Good luck to anyone having this done, hope your experience is better than mine.

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GailM said on 07 June 2014

I had an endoscopy eight years ago. I asked for sedation and remember feeling woozy for a couple of minutes or so and remember slurring my words a bit when was asked a question. However it then seemed to disappear. I remember every single second, vomited, although I only know that because I heard them say vomit! It was painful because I kept gagging even though I tried really hard to relax as much as you can in that situation. I swore f my life depended on it, I would never have another one done. I'm having to have another one done in the next couple of weeks... I've said they will have to knock me out and have been assured I will be given plenty of sedative. I said no, you will have to knock me out! He said being anxious can mean the sedative isn't as effective. However wen I had mine done a friend of mine who'd had it done said you'll only remember bits so in actual fact I was quite calm in the circumstances. Blood pressure before the procedure was only up a bit. Blood pressure when I went to the chemist to get the tablets was sky high!!! Anyway I have to have it done so I just hope they give me a dam sight more sedative than last time.

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mandybutch said on 05 June 2014

I had my Endoscopy 2 days ago and was very nervous before hand , I was given sedation and although in my case I was totally aware of what they were doing and could describe it afterwards I was not in any pain or distress during the procedure, in fact I found it quite interesting and wouldn't worry about having it done again at all, just thought I would share my experience to put other peoples mind at rest.

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xxtracyxx said on 17 May 2014

I had my Endoscopy yesterday and like many on here I can say don't worry about it, the anticipation is much worse than the actual procedure. I had an endoscopy 10 yrs ago and it wasn't pleasant I gagged the whole way through it so I got myself in a right old state worrying about this one so much so I really didn't know if I could go through with it.

I needn't have worried so much, I decided not to go for sedation as I'd had that 10yrs ago and it did nothing for me, I just had the throat spray, I think they spray a lot more in than when I had it done before as I didn't feel the camera going in till it was about half way down my throat. The spray makes your tongue and throat numb which does feel a bit strange but nothing to worry about, it kind of feels hard and as though you can't swallow but you can, the team were lovely, the Dr put the spray in and the nurse had me lay down straight away, she was very reassuring and helped me relax, my gag reflex is very weak so I was dreading the camera going in but before I knew it was in my stomach, I could feel it in my stomach but it didn't hurt at all just felt a little strange having something there.

I did gag a little at that point but the nurse was brilliant she reminded me to concentrate on relaxing my shoulders and taking slow deep breaths and that really is the key, if you take your mind away from the sensation of the camera being there the urge to gag goes away, it's only when you concentrate on the camera being there that you want to gag so just take your mind to relaxing your shoulders controlling your breathing, it really does work.

The whole procedure was over within about 3 mins, the Dr found a polyp which he took a biopsy of then that was it he slowly took the camera out I gagged once more then purely because my mind wondered back to what the camera was doing.

I was so glad I didn't bother with sedation as it was so quick and painless.

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wolter said on 30 April 2014

I had an endoscopy done today in Maidstone hospital, all I can say stop worrying ,it is not as bad as anyone tried to tell you.The staff in the department where outstanding so helpful put me right at ease. the proscedure was not as bad as I thought it would be, I had the spray what tasted like alcoholic bananas, believe me bananas.It only took a few minutes and you done.you get some aftercare some chat and then you can go.dont worry its much easyer then you think

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926 said on 29 April 2014

I went to have an endoscopy yesterday. From first knowing I would need an endoscopy I made sure I could have sedation as I have a phobia of being sick and was worried I wouldn't be able to relax.

I went along to my appointment and was all fired up but my appointment was delayed by an hour and a half so by that time my nerves had kicked in. When I was taken through I asked for sedation but was told they would just give me the spray to get me in and out quicker.

After the first unsuccessful attempted of getting the endoscopy down I was freaked out (which I knew would happen hence why I wanted sedation). I agreed to try again but the second attempt was worst than the first. When I started to choke and panic I was pinned down on the table by 2 nurses. This of course increased my panic. This attempt also failed. After this it was suggested maybe I should be sedated but the doctor stated because of the distress caused sedation wouldn't help me by this point.

I am now having to come back to have this procedure done under a general anesthetic at a later date.

My advice would be if you want to be sedated make sure you enforce it. I think with sedation things would have been much easier and I may have had the procedure over and done with. It is definitely worth having the sedative to relax if you are nervous - I just wish my request had been listened too.

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JSH1963 said on 28 March 2014

I had my endoscopy this afternoon. I chose to have the sedation as I didn't want to be aware of what they were doing.

Last thing I remember was being told to let the drugs flow through me and go with it and the next thing I was in the recovery room.

The whole thing took about 10 minutes, I was back in my room after half an hour, had something to eat and drink and was allowed home. I was lucky enough to go private and it really wasn't a bad experience at all.

The consultant came to see me after and said he couldn't see anything but that he did a biopsy and would give me the results when I next go in. In the meantime, I'm still having pain from acid reflux and am trying something stronger than Omeprazole, hope it does the trick as the pain is unbearable at times.

So really, if you're scared or worried about having this procedure, have the sedation, it's easy peasy, apparantly the tube went straight in with no gagging at all and I don't have a sore throat just a slight soreness in my chest which is no worse that the acid pain.

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KY79 said on 18 March 2014

I had an endoscopy this morning and was very nervous after reading some of the comments here. I needn't have been.

I had the choice of having it done at my local NHS hospital or a private one (but still on the NHS) and I chose the private one. On arrival I was shown to a private room and the doctor performing it came to see me to ask about my symptoms and run through the risks. I asked for sedation and he said "No problem". A nurse took my blood pressure, pulse and temperature and another nurse took me to the endoscopy room. There were 6 people in it which was a little intimidating at first but don't worry about it. I didn't have to wear a gown just kept all my clothes on. The nurses were brilliant when I told them how nervous I was. The sedation was given and one nurse held my hand. I was asked to turn on my side and that's literally all I remember. I don't remember the endoscopy at all. It's like I never had it.

I then had to stay on a bed in a different room for a while. They said I'd had a lot of sedation but I didn't feel too weird. Then they took me back to my original room where there was a sandwich and drink waiting. I had that. They removed the sedation thing from my hand, gave me a letter with the doctor's findings and that was it. I went home.

So seriously, if you are worried about the procedure ask for the sedation. Try not to stress too much. It's not going to be anything like as bad as you think it will be! I can't remember any of it!

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MustBeMummy said on 18 March 2014

I am having an endoscopy in two days time. I started with a cold yesterday so im hoping they still do it. As much as I am petrified I want it over n done with. Will come back and leave my review if I have it done. From a big scardy cat who hates hospital's

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pinkpalm said on 14 March 2014

I had an endoscopy a few weeks ago and thought I would post this to try and help others who have never had this procedure before.

I was petrified the day I got the appointment and worried about it for a month prior to the appointment. The morning of the procedure I was in bits and when I got to the hospital I burst into tears. The nurse was very good and explained everything to me. I was told I would be sedated and would hardly remember anything.

I sat in a room with 3 other women, two of which had been through this once before. Two of them were having sedation and the other was having the procedure without.

I was up first, as soon as I entered the theatre and sat on the bed I burst into tears and had a bit of a panic attack. I feel a bit silly now as it really wasn't that bad. I was meant to have the sedation but the doctor decided not to give it me. I had the throat spray which numbed my tongue rather than my throat as I wouldn't let the doctor spray it in my mouth (again I feel really silly about this as it was nothing). The nurse put a mouth guard in and talked to me as the doctor put the camera in my mouth and passed it down my throat. It didn't hurt at all, I gagged a little but it was more of a cough than a real gagging sensation and this was probably because I wouldn't let him spray my throat to numb it. I could breath and swallow fine and although I was aware of the camera in my throat there was no pain at all. The doctor took a biopsy from my stomach and I didn't feel a thing! The camera came out and it was over in minutes. I felt silly as I'd made all that fuss over nothing and I managed it without sedation!

I went back to the recovery room and had to eat and drink something before they would let me go. The lady that went in after me didn't have the sedation either and she was fine too. The lady who had sedation said she felt a bit tired and unwell afterwards and wished she'd done it without but again she still said it wasn't that bad.

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Donna92 said on 13 March 2014

I had a gastroscopy today and discussed at length sedation or not? In the end as I was advised that should it prove too difficult for me without sedation I could then be sedated ,so I chose to go without sedation. For the throat numbing and the first two thirds of the procedure I was ok . Ok meaning I could control my gag reflex ,relax and breathe . I was hopeful that I could get through this . Then my gag reflex kicked in and I simply could not control it ,I was not anxious ,I really wanted to keep going but it became impossible to stop retching . The staff were great and said it really was not long to go and they could understand when I put my hand up that I meant ,you need to stop now and thankfully they were able to complete the procedure in time . I thought they might have to sedate me and finish procedure but luckily it was complete. So my experience is varied .If it had been quicker I would say go without sedation ,but for me that last bit was awful, my gag reflex kicked in and I simply could not control it . I can remember all of the procedure and it seems that at least with sedation you have a foggy recall ,at the very least I would prefer not to remember . I don't want to scare anyone , this was bearable and I am not traumatised in any way I just think that sedation is the way to go. That's just my experience and I can see that many cope brilliantly without it . Staff were fantastic ,kind and caring .Amazing piece of equipment to help diagnose and treat so many illnesses so it is worth doing .

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annalouise95 said on 12 March 2014

i had a transnasal bronchoscopy back in july last year. i didn't have the option to have it through my mouth and down my throat which was probably a good idea since that would have been my chosen option. although now i think it would have been much more painful and invasive! i had sedation but the only discomfort i felt was when they sprayed the numbing spray up my nose to numb the area. easily the most painful part! but not enough to put me off the experience and make me choose to have it down my throat next time! i felt nothing through the procedure apart from when i started to come around and was asking questions half way through, that was soon sorted out when they had to top up my sedation as it lasted longer than anticipated!.. i came around a short while later and unlike others i suffered no sore throat. or this might just be due to the fact i've recently had my tonsils out so throat pain threshold is now very high! I'm due to have an endoscopy in 6 weeks time to explore my stomach and am under the influence its basically the same procedure they just go down a bit further. i will definitely be opting for transnatal and i think in this day and age it is the most popular method.
so from experience as long as you relax your experience will be pretty much pain free! so don't get worked up about it. I'm only 18 and i have no worries having another one, so if i can do it then you all definitely can!
(a lot of the comments on here make it sound a lot worse than it actually is.. remember how bad people tend to make things sound when they've had an unpleasant experience! don't worry.. the doctors definitely know what they're doing!)

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iron tadpole said on 11 March 2014

Had several endoscopys in various orrifices due to years of chronic stomach pains. I'm an ex heavy drinker, so I take responsibilty of the damage ive done. Gallbladder removed after too many pancreatitis episodes that were the most pain ive known. The sites for those endoscopies left tiny scar, much smaller than down throat! Latest found i I have hiatus hernia which, tho painful, was a relief to find no further damage to pancreas.
Anyone advised to have this procedure should go ahead, they don't do it for fun!! Good luck all :*)

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Cassieopia said on 01 March 2014

I had an endoscopy back in 2008 and now require another one which I am dreading. The one I had in 2008 was a bad experience for me, I did not want the sedation as I wanted to drive home straight afterwards, bad mistake as I constantly and violently retched throughout the whole procedure, maybe I have a overactive gag reflex so don't want to put people off as there are a lot of positive reviews on here. Afterwards I felt exhausted and I had a very very sore throat and stomach for 3 days.

I asked my GP if this time I could have a 'trans nasal endoscopy' which looks a far more comfortable and less traumatic procedure as I have seen it on a TV medical program, and he said he had never heard of it but would request one. I cannot see a reference to it on this site so think that the NHS do not do this type of procedure yet.

I think that in this day and age with advances in technology there should be a procedure that is less invasive than this one, surely they could make the tube a lot thinner as in my opinion it is quite thick, if they can now make pin size spy cameras you see on these undercover documentaries then why cant they modify and slim down the the tube? Anyway I hope I have not put you off, this is just my experience and everyone is different. I will have the sedation next time and hope it will make a difference.

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kaylee85 said on 28 February 2014

i just wanted to share my experience from today because i was so scared, petrified actually beforehand and needn't have been. i had a upper oeasophogal endoscopy with the rigid scope. the nurses were so reassuring, the surgeon explained it all well and the anesthatist was lovely. i had gas to send me to sleep before the general anasthetic needle because i hate needles! the last thing i remember saying was this feels lovely (the gas was very relaxing!) next second i was coming round in recovery. i felt groggy for about 4 hours afterwards and have slept quite a bit the rest of the day. my throat is a little sore, i am the biggest wimp ever its nowhere near as bad as when you have a sore throat. just mild discomfort. if you have any worries just got for general and ask for gas first if like me you're a needle phobe. it really is nothing to worry about and i wish i hadnt scared myself silly reading some of the horror stories!!

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Mel2014 said on 24 February 2014

Hi, I had my endoscopy today. Some of the comments on here are a bit worrying so I am glad I didn't read them beforehand, as I was nervous enough anyway!

I opted for sedation (I had an endoscopy about 7 years ago and had sedation, although I can't remember it). I was given the throat spray first and I found the taste quite pleasant, and it worked immediately. I was then asked to lay on my side and before I knew it I was in being moved to the recovery room and it was all over! I vaguely remember someone talking about the mouth guard but have no memory after that. I was so nervous before and remember worrying that I would be sick but I worried for nothing.

A lovely nurse stayed with me and checked my blood pressure and I had to wait until it went up before I was allowed to leave (I was given a glass of water and then a cup of tea).

After, I felt quite drowsy and I have had a slight sore throat all day but other than that I'm fine.

You're advised to not drink alcohol for 24 hours but I remember the first time I was sedated..... I went out the following evening (so, over 24 hours later) and I had a alcoholic drink and I collapsed. This was because the affects of the sedation were still in me, so just be careful even after the 24 hours.

Whatever you opt for I think the thing you need to try and do is relax, easier said than done I know. :)

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AndyC89 said on 10 February 2014

Hi, I'm being sent a letter for an Endoscopy which I don't need since everything is fine, a consultant at Oldham Royal Hospital knew I have a inguinal hernia that has gotten worse by each day but has stated that I have heart burn and prescribed me with Gaviscon then discharged me. Told my GP everything that was done and said which they were disgusted with. No idea how to cancel a false referral but I guess I'll have to wait and let the booking team know who's responsible.

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thehogans1977 said on 05 February 2014

Hi all. Just had my endoscopy today. Made the mistake of reading some of the comments here and getting concerned the night before going and didn't get much sleep. It really is not worth getting worked up about. I had the throat spray and this was the worse part for me. Once my throat went numb It felt like I could not swallow which panicked me for a mo but soon settled, just a weird feeling. I was then laid down on my side and a small mouth piece put between my teeth. The doc then got the gadget and started. There is no pain involved, just feels weird. I could breath easily through my mouth throughout the whole process, which lasted all of 5 minutes. All I will say is keep calm and don't be too nervous. Take nice slow breaths during procedure and remember it is all over in minutes usually.
I really was expecting a lot worse and was chuffed it was so easy.
Cheers to the lovely ladies at the Hornton, Banbury.

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kmcg1 said on 25 January 2014

Yesterday I went into hospital for my scope. To be honest I spent weeks dreading it and hours of research and reading and youtube videos. It really is not too bad. I went into hospital at 8.30am and I was home by 11.30am. I opted for the sedation which was fantastic!!! The scope can be a uncomfortable but i can barely remember a thing after being sedated. I would advise anyone to have the sedation!! It lasts about 10mins and after you more or less just feel tired! I have a sore throat today and a little tummy pain but nothing we dont usually feel on a normal day! My advice to anyone would be to not worry, it really is not as bad as you would think! I worry over the littlest things and this I would happily have again if needs be! Unfortunately they found a huge hiatus hernia at the bottom of my stomach which means more tests and possibly and operation! I have no worries and put my trust and care in the doctors and nurses! :)

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Camomile14 said on 16 January 2014

I have been dreading the endoscopy for weeks now but having just returned from hospital, I have to say it was ok not pleasant but definitely manageable. I read the previous comments & I really tried to relax & concentrate on breathing, that helped a lot & I closed my eyes & imagined that I was on a beautiful beach in the warm sun. Yes I did gag a few times & the pulling sensation of the biopsies felt strange but It was all over in minutes. It was much better than the last one I had decades ago. I would definitely recommend just the throat spray, this time it felt fine, I was able to breathe & the staff were very supportive & you can leave straight after. Now I'm ok apart from a slightly sore feeling around my abdomen-a hot water bottle helps.

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potwoodle said on 08 January 2014

As I was fretting a lot before my recent endoscopy, I thought I'd share my experiences and put people's mind at ease. I opted for the throat spray with no sedation. The main reason for this was that I don't like being in situations where I am out of control.
I won't sugar coat it. It is unpleasant, you will retch and it does feel very odd, but it's definately bearable. The throat spray gets to work quite quickly and it does feel a bit odd. Contrary to other posts I've read, I didn't feel like I couldn't breathe. Just concentrate on taking nice deep breaths and you'll be fine.
My main piece of advice is to avoid trying to swallow while the endocope is down. You will produce saliva and you will want to, but the nurse removes it with suction like when you are at the dentist. Avoiding swallowing means that the endoscope has less contact with the top of your throat and makes the whole process a bit less unpleasant.
Last but not least, it's mind over matter. If you keep focusing on your breathing and don't panic, you'll be fine.

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jasmineint said on 27 December 2013

I've literally (3 hours ago) just had an endoscopy under sedation. If anyone is nervous or anxious please don't put yourself through the stress, opt for sedation. I did not experience anything unpleasant at all and was able to go home as soon as I'd had something to eat and drink :)

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isla2 said on 25 December 2013

I had this procedure done 24th December 2013, this was the second time. The first time I had the sedative, but this time only the throat spray which was one quick spray and not very effective. I would never go through this again without the sedative, comparing the two procedures I coped much better the first time.

I was unable to stop retching through the whole procedure, I had no control over this and it was very uncomfortable. I felt totally exhausted after it. The staff were great and supported me through the whole thing I can't fault them at all, but it was dreadful.

I found this so unpleasant and difficult today that I really can't ever face having this done again. I don't know how people can say it is nothing you hardly feel it or it only lasts five minutes, it can and does for many people last a lot longer.

You do recover quite quickly, and you are not going to die having this done. But if I need something like this again there is going to have to be an alternative for me such as laparoscopy, I don't know how people go through this again and again.

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User820619 said on 17 November 2013

I read this page before I had my endoscopy 2 weeks ago.
There is some information here which proved useful to me and felt it only right to share my experience.
Before I went to the hospital, I had decided I wanted to try to have this done without sedation.
Having said that, I still had them attach a cannula in case I wanted to change my mind later.
I was apprehensive whilst waiting but tried not to think about it too much.
My biggest concern was the expected gag reflex when the tube is first inserted.
I had the throat spray which as others have mentioned, tastes has a banana taste.
It was unpleasant IMO. The spray acts quickly. First tip... it feels like your throat has
started to constrict and you can't breathe. Don't panic. You can breathe. Just take a breath.
After the second spray of the local anaesthetic, the tube goes in. To be honest, it was down in no time at all.
I hardly felt it. My next tip is try to forget what they are doing and concentrate on breathing.
You can still breathe through your mouth and/or your nose. I gagged a few times and at some points felt like I was going to be sick.
But the nurse, who was very supportive throughout, continued saying re-assuring things.
I had a number of biopsies taken, which I didn't really feel.
I wouldn't describe the procedure as painful at all, just uncomfortable and odd.
The air being inserted into your stomach just made me burp. Alot!
Not exactly sure how long it lasted. But between 5 and 10 minutes.
I was out in no time after some food and drink. Throat was a bit sore for a while.
If I have to have another one, I would go the same route - no sedation.
Hope this information is helpful to someone.

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ChrisG1969 said on 29 October 2013

I had one of these yesterday as I have been coughing up blood, nothing showed up on my CT scan in my lung area so it was just a precautionary measure. I hadn't read anything before other than the official leaflet they gave me, I thought it would be a fairly informal process but it wasn't, I had my blood pressure taken, answered loads of questions, had to put a gown on, I was taken to a room with 2 nurses, a doctor and a registrar, I had a line put in my arm in case anything went wrong, an oxygen line up my nose and a blood pressure arm band put on, I had no sedation but they sprayed my throat about 4 times until numb, a guard was placed over my teeth then the camera was inserted, when it was at my voice box they sprayed about 3 times which caused me to cough heavily - for me this was the worst part, after that it's just a case of trying to stay calm and breath steadily, the nurses were great, it wasn't something I enjoyed but it only took about 20 mins and I was lucky in that the Doctor said straight away that everything was fine.......after that I went to a recovery room for 15 minutes , then had a coffee, I was then discharged. I then drove home, last night I had a very sore throat but I was able to eat and drink ok. One lady I spoke to said it was her 7 th time she'd had this done and a bloke next to me said 5 shadows were on his lungs......it's not that bad and I'm just glad I can now rule out having any bad diseases.....

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Louleybell said on 23 October 2013

Hi had endoscopy and biopsy today it was awfull I was sedated and had the spray didn't cope very well with having it done, but I have really bad back ache has anyone else had bad back ache afterwards?? As they Said i shouldn't be in any pain afterward

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juliecan said on 23 October 2013

Hi just to want to leave comment. I had a endoscopy on Tuesday 22/10/2013.I was a bit concerned on which side to lay on. Due to havin arthritis. But the staff made me very comfortable with more pillows. So here goes they sprayed my thoat with a spray 10 times. And then it was numb. I was asked to swallow and it went down with no problem at all. Then i felt the air going in it was a funny feeling. Then all of a sudden i kept burping and burping. So the next thing i just started laughing. So I laughed alway through it. As I couldn’t stop burping. So the staff said they have never had a patient who laughed alway through it. That was very laughable experience.

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Fairy pants said on 09 October 2013

Hi to all.
I have never commented on here before but had to after today.
I am a big wimp but was determined to have my endoscopy without sedation today. I panic if I'm not in control and really didn't want to be sedated. I'm so pleased I didn't have it. It was not painful at all, just a very strange feeling.
It was done in 5 minutes and I was driving a short time later.
I have stomach cramps now though so my tummy has the hump at being prodded!
Please don't be nervous, it's easy peasy.

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Bimble89 said on 02 October 2013

I had an upper GI endoscopy (or gastroscopy) today, and after reading up on this website and other sites about the procedure I was absolutely petrified. Had a very sleepless night about it, but I am pleased to say it wasn't any where near as horrendous as I was expecting!

I felt compelled to register on here just to try and reassure anyone having doubts about the procedure.

I opted for the throat spray (local anesthetic), which tastes like fishy bananas and has a burning sensation after you've swallowed - works pretty much instantly! A nurse popped a mouth guard in, and the endoscopist placed the camera on my tongue and asked me to imagine I was taking a big drink, I gagged a little then on the second swallow the camera was in! Weird sensation, I could feel it in my belly/intestines but is in no way painful, just very very odd! Had some biopsies taken, then the camera was pulled out and I retched again as it was pulled over the back of my throat and voila, over with in under 5 minutes! I cannot explain to you how nervous I was, the nurses were fantastic, and the key is to try and relax and really focus on your breathing - you can breathe/swallow etc even with the endoscope in although I found swallowing was a bit uncomfortable.

Obviously not all experiences will be the same as mine, but hopefully i've helped to ease any worries or concerns you might have had :)

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Benjamin1983 said on 02 October 2013

I had both an endoscopy and gastroscopy today at Charing Cross Hospital. I should first say, I suffer from anxiety, a huge fear of needles and have the most sensitive gag reflex the world has ever known. I read this site many times and convinced myself so heavy was my fear I requested to go under GA to have the procedures done. After months of waiting, I could not stomach the wait, (excuse the pun) so went back to the original plan of having the procedures done under sedation. I can tell you, although far from pleasant, it wasn't that bad at all. TO be honest, I can't really remember the procedure at all. I remember gagging a little during the endoscopy but only very briefly and the nurse pushed away my hand as I tried to remove the cable. (I'm 6 5 and 16 stone and she did this with ease!) I had 2 doses of sedative under my request and in honesty, I thought I was only in there for about 5 minutes, it was actually 45 and after a cup of tea and a few biscuits I was fine. If you're worried about it, just take the sedative. If anything, the prep the day before was probably worse! anyway, I just wanted to share my experience as I can't put into words how scared I was before the op and just how wonderful all the Doc and nurses were at Charing Cross. Wonderful treatment and understanding from start to finish.

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tony ashton said on 29 September 2013

Hi all I have to be honest I had my endoscopy earlier this year 2013 at Queens hospital Burton on Trent and the staff where top notch but the procedure was horrendous.Iam an ex royal marine and have been a private security contractor I don't need to paint a picture but iam still considered to be a dangerous individual due to my skill sets!.My endoscopy left me drooling and semi unconcious from sedative and multiple shots of bannana flavoured local I experienced gagging struggling for breath and panic I would never ever have this procedure done again I spent hours in recovery.Excellent staff though and good hospital just nasty procedure.Tony

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Art1385 said on 27 August 2013

To everyone who need this procedure doing : relax , its very quick and not worth the worries procedure.
I had mine done under 10 min , just lay down and relax , you would be supported and looked after.You wont feel any pain at all , just a slight sensation as the endoscope going in. Just relax , its very quick and painless procedure. If you very nervous , you would be offered some IV sedative injection that would make you feel relaxed. Good luck to everyone and don't be afraid

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Int said on 17 August 2013

Please, please, please ignore the negative comments on this page. I had an endoscopy today with sedation and was absolutely petrified when I was on the table but as soon as the sedation kicked in I was away with the fairies and it seemed as though I was only in there for a few minutes.
I did feel the tube for a brief moment which was noticeable but not painful.
I have a very low pain threshold and suffer from anxiety/panic attacks and it was perfectly ok.
Please don't be frightened to undergo an endoscopy, but do insist on sedation. My Dr said he doesn't perform them without sedation as it can be uncomfortable and sedation takes that away.

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lorraine0617 said on 02 August 2013

I had an endoscopy in 1988, and found it very unpleasant. I've recently been having some problems and the first investigation my G.P. mentioned was endoscopy ! However I had done my research and had found alternatives, first there's the new capsule (Pillcam) endoscopy, which is exactly what it sounds like, ie a camera in a big pill. I know for a fact they do these at Aintree Hospital (Liverpool) which is not far from me. So I told my doc that I would be happy to have this, but not the traditional endoscopy and she agreed that if my test for H Pylori came back negative she would refer me for this. However the Pillcam can't take biopsies etc. So I have decided that if I need biopsies I will insist on a trans nasal endoscopy. I've had one of these when I saw an E.N.T. consultant and I could not believe how much easier it was ! It really really was no problem. After doing some research and watching a video on You Tube I was quite surprised to se that the trans nasal endoscopy is actually a choosable option in some hospitals ! So come on folks, don't be bullied or coerced into having something that scares you ! There are choices !

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KSheridan said on 24 July 2013

I had this test after having IBS for a while, and they wanted to rule out other more serious conditions.

For me it was slightly uncomfortable, but pretty painless. A lot easier than what I thought it would be!

You can read my experiences on my blog at www.mylifewithibs.com

Good luck to everyone having the procedure, it is definitely worth a few minutes of being uncomfortable for peace of mind.

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wasiunlucky said on 12 July 2013

I want to start by saying that I am a sturdy 38 year old man who thought he could handle anything life threw at him. Before I went to Ipswich hospital yesterday I read all of the reviews posted here but homed in on the positive ones, thinking: 'What's the worst that can happen, five mins and I will be on my way again!' I opted for the throat spray, 10 squirts in two lots of five in quick succession and I was told to lay on my left side, after which oxygen nozzles were put at the entrance of my nostrils and the Hannibal Lector-style mask was put between my teeth and hooked around my ears. There were four medical women in the room, one who told me to: 'Concentrate on my breathing' It felt a little bit rushed but not uncaring, I got the impression that this was routine, easy, just like a dental check-up and I felt very reassured by this. I was surprised though, at how thick the scope was, it was possibly 7-8mm in diameter and black in colour, with a shining light on the end. No sooner had they inserted it through the mouth piece and towards the back of my throat that I started to gag. But then something that I was not expecting, I felt myself starting to choke. Not just gag, but actually choke. I felt it go beyond my throat. I'm not ashamed to say that I say that I bolted upright and yanked the scope out. It was like I needed to preserve my life. I have huge tonsils that flair often and my doctor once told me I had a small opening, and the scope seemed to fill my entire airway. While it remained in there I could not breathe. Despite the staff reasoning with me to give it another go there was no way I could, and I was lead to the recovery room, and it was once I was seated in there that the throat spray actually began to kick in. My throat and tongue numbed and stayed that way for about 15 minutes. I want to end by saying that it was the single, worst moment of my life and I would need to by completely under before I attempt this again, but not for several years

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Richard48 said on 28 June 2013

I had a gastroscopy at Good Hope Hospital this morning.

I was anxious beforehand but convinced myself that it was a few minutes out of my life and couldn't be any worse than having five teeth out in one go, or indeed my wife's two ceasarians!

I chose the throat spray only, basically because my wife was away on a course and I had to get home for when my daughter got home from school. Sedation was not an option.

There were three nurses present, one of whom performed the endoscopy with another taking charge of the camera/biopsy and offering diagnosis.

In my case the procedure was far from horrific, just uncomfortable.

I didn't gag as the endoscope passed the back of my mouth and I didn't feel the biopsy.

I did feel the tube rubbing as it was passed down. I quickly realised that swallowing was the cause of most discomfort so stopped, tried my best to relax, and tried to focus on the voices of the nurses around me and to concentrate on my breathing.

I wretched a little as the tube was removed, but again, nothing horrendous.

The procedure only took about 10 minutes from start to finish.

Based on today's experience I would choose the throat spray again. I was out of hospital after half an hour and was able to drive home and get on with my day.

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gg1903 said on 12 June 2013

Had endoscopy at Eccleshill NHS Treatment Centre, Bradford yesterday. Apart from long wait due to an emergency everything was excellent. I had been absolutely terrified so chose to have sedation and would recommend this to anyone who is nervous. Was not aware of going to sleep but cannot recall the procedure so perhaps I did. Felt no discomfort either during the procedure or afterwards: no sore throat or other ill effects. I had been worried that I wouldn't be able to swallow the endoscope but this wasn't an issue. All staff were friendly, helpful and reassuring. It was nowhere near as bad as I anticipated and I feel absolutely fine today. I can't see any advantage in opting for private treatment apart from waiting time of several weeks.

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Merrill46 said on 07 June 2013

I had an Endoscopy yesterday, and like most people I was terrified. I chose to go private. I had the procedure carried out at 8.15 in the morning.

I had a consultation with the Dr a week before and I told him how terrified I was. He said don't worry I will sort it out.

First of all the Dr gave me an injection of Pethidine (pain killer) in my arm, next he injected a sedative and then sprayed my throat, not as bad as some people make out.

Then a nurse put the dummy in my mouth to enable the tube to go down my throat, and another nurse put something inside my nose to help me breathe. That is the last thing I remember. I was fast asleep before the Dr put the tube down my throat. The procedure itself lasted minutes so I was told later, and I had been asleep for 40 minutes. I did not feel a thing and had a wonderful Dr to thank for it.

About 30 minutes later they gave me a cup of tea and sausage sandwiches. Glad I chose to go private.

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Scottishladdie said on 23 May 2013

Had an Upper GI endoscopy at Ayr hospital this morning, like many others I had read the comments on this forum and was absolutely terrified of all the horror stories, these fears were unfounded I was given all the details by a member of the team prior to deciding on sedation and to be honest I would recommend sedation every time a cannula was inserted into my arm prior to going into the endoscopy suite I had the throat spray (disgusting stuff) then the sedation and after that I cant really remember much till I was in the recovery room, about 45 mins later I was up and dressed and having a cup of tea and a sandwich, then I was given a debrief and the results before being allowed home. Every member of the nursing staff were helpful and reassuring so please dont be frightened of this procedure have the sedation and it will be all over before you know it.

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Watto84 said on 21 May 2013

Firstly I do not recommend you read this thread before you attend your appointment. I made that mistake. It does you no favours what so ever as your experience will be different to everyone else's on here.

I attended Canterbury Hospital today for my endoscopy and I wish to share my experience.

I arrived for my appointment and was still undecided if I would be having just the spray or the sedation. After talking to a nurse when checking my paperwork she assured me that If the spray did not work on its own, they would give me a few minutes and we could try the sedation.

So I opted to try just the spray.

After signing my consent form I went into have the procedure and I met the doctor and two nurses. All were polite and friendly.

The doctor explained the process and proceeded to spray the back of my throat with a numbing agent. After 30 seconds I felt my throat beginning to go numb and I was then asked to lay on my side. Once there I was given a mouth guard to stop me biting through the camera.

The doctor and nurses were constantly talking to me during the process which made me relax more. I closed my eyes and the doctor advised me what to do after that.

Firstly the camera was entered into my mouth and I could feel it at the top of my throat. I was asked to swallow and I felt it pass down my throat. ( the hardest part). It wasn't horrific, but it was a very unusual feeling. It felt like when my glands were swollen, but the entire time I could breath fine. The camera was passed down and was in there for no more than 4 minutes. They took three biopsies in that time. I felt each one, it felt like a slight tugging/pinch.

On removal of the camera was the only time I gagged. It was a relatively quick procedure for me, but as I said earlier I can imagine each experience will be down to the person having it.

I am home now and I feel some discomfort in my stomach. This is to be expected and hopefully tomorrow I shall be fine.

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Chrisb84 said on 09 May 2013

I have been sent for two upper gi endoscopes one i tried without and the second with both failed and have been the worst experiences of my life. This is a horrendous procedure and I feel sorry for anybody having to have this

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Mcw13 said on 06 May 2013

Further to my previous comment, 36 hours after my horrific endoscopy experience I woke up at 3am with severe abdominal pain like I had never felt before. I called nhs direct who sent an ambulance, and I spent the rest of the morning in A&E on a drip.

They found no internal bleeding and put it down to an 'unusual reaction' to the endoscopy. I've been in pain since, although it has much reduced, and I have not been able to eat properly. My insides are screwed, basically.

I am praying there is no long term damage as a result of this. If anyone would like to offer a medical point of view it would be very welcome, as I have confounded both the nhs and harley street!

Wishing you a much smoother experience for your endoscopy; it seems everyone reacts very differently and some have no trouble at all.

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Mojopearl said on 02 May 2013

For a month prior to the procedure I was very scared. On the day I had a resting pulse of 149, so that give an indication how frightened I was. I had the procedure done wtih a common cold. I had throat spray and sedation. The throat spray was not awful. (I was surprised). The sedation did not do that much, but calmed enough for me not to panic. I was awake I believe the whole time and the experience was quite reasonsable. It took about 5 minutes, but they took and ten minutes finding a vein for the drug to be administered. Overall discomfort was minimal. I had a lovely lady who stroked my hair the whole time! So I was a terrified person who in the end found it all acceptable. If you are nervous then go for sedation! That the best advice. The over the top reviews seem to come from those who did not have sedation.

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busymum6 said on 01 May 2013

I have had 2 endoscopy s done over the last 2 months. The first one I had only the throat spray it was horrible. I was gagging with lots of acid coming up and burning my throat. I was held down as I become very distressed. The 2nd one i had the throat spray and sedation . So much better all i can remember is been given the spray and the sedation and then I was in recovery. I can not remember the procedure . On the sheet I was given it had taken 30 mins and biopsy taken, I will have to have another one in 6 months and I will be having sedation again. I was walking about afterwards and felt fine.

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CB1950 said on 01 May 2013

After reading some of the comments on here I went for my gastroscopy extremely nervously. I do not like the idea of having no control via sedation, but at the same time I did not want to suffer the medieval torture described by others. In the end it was agreed that I try the spray first and then go for sedation if necessary

I need not have worried. Whilst it was a bit uncomfortable at times it was minor and i had no problems with the tube going down or the biopsies. There was no gagging whatsoever and I was able to breathe perfectly normally.

So I have no concerns if more are needed.

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Mcw13 said on 27 April 2013

That. Was. Horrific.

I went for throat spray because I thought I could handle it (and was slightly cajoled into it by staff who said it would be much quicker) but all thoughts of keeping focused and relaxed went out the window when they stuck the tube down my throat.

The throat spray itself set alarm bells ringing; it felt like I couldn't swallow. The room was dark and the mechanical, medical setting made me feel a bit like an animal experiment. The endoscopist was professional but brusque and told me if I don't panic it will all be over much quicker. I don't think they were uncaring (it's in everyone's interest to get it done as quick as possible) but I think a warmer, more relaxing atmosphere could have been cultivated.

I can't describe the actual feeling of it; 'uncomfortable' doesn't really cut it. It's now about 36 hours post-procedure and it still feels like my insides have been cleaned out with a wire pipe cleaner.

I had 4 biopsies taken (not sure if this is usual) and I felt each one. It didn't hurt as such, just a slight pulling sensation. It was actually worse when they fed the metal 'pliers' down through the centre of the tube - I could feel every millimetre.

I'm not leaving this review to frighten anyone out of having it done; obviously if your doctor has referred you there's a reason for it. But reading reviews and descriptions online honestly didn't prepare me for how brutal it was - I reiterate, not that the staff were unconcerned for my wellbeing - just the pure physicality of experience was absolutely horrific. My pulse went sky high and I was limply fighting the doctor off. He went as quick as he could.

I left traumatised. I'm still quite shaken up. I think, for all their technical competence, what they don't prepare you for is the emotional trauma. It's like being brutalised, violated, and as much as your brain knows it's for your own good, your body reacts purely instinctively against the invasion.

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mmnov18 said on 17 March 2013

Well I am so glad I did not read most of these comments before I had my gastroscopy yesterday! I loathe not being in control either, have had children and fillings without any pain relief, and coped just fine. But one thing I would not like, is the gag sensation, so I opted for sedation. Why do so many people think sedation is a big deal? I was awake and alert within minutes, and went home two hours later and got on with the rest of my day as normal. It is not like a general, it is better, I don't have any recollection of the procedure, and none of the drowsiness either. Please spare yourself nightmares over gagging, and go for this option. It is by far the easiest!

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rachie25 said on 13 March 2013

I had a gastroscopy earlier today with the throat spray and without sedation. The nurses were really lovely and i did the procedure without sedative on the advice of a nurse who said that it does not actually knock you out. You just are more chilled and forget things. Thinking that is s bit like being drunk and wanting to get things over asap i decided without sedation. I hate going to the doctors generally but dshe made me feel like i could cope.

Although there is no denying the procedure is unnatural and that i gagged all the way through it, the nurse held my hand, was reassuring and told me to try to breathe. However this (breathing) feels odd with something down your throat and trying to breathe through nose was difficult. The whole thing took about 2 or 3mins and I will admit I was a bit shaken up afterwards but having someone screening your insides with instruments is never going to be pleasant. Overall i think the waiting for the procedure is worse. Yes it is uncomfortable but necessary to diagnose and for peace of mind.

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MissCupcake said on 07 March 2013

I had an endoscopy with a biopsy done about two weeks ago. I was quite nervous especially the night before and I had decided to google the procedure as I was unsure on whether to opt for the throat spray or sedation. After looking on here I decided to go for throat spray as I didn't want to feel groggy or disorientated afterwards and I wasn't comfortable with an IV. Also as scared as I was, I would rather be in control and know what was happening instead of being sedated and only half aware of what was going on. The procedure was quite quick. It only takes about 15 minutes including the biopsies being done. The throat spray was a slightly bitter but it did numb my throat within a couple of minutes. I was given a mouth guard so that they were able to put the tube through. I didn't feel much in my mouth and I only had to swallow a little and the tube was already down in my stomach. I felt the biopsy to be slightly painful as it was a bit of a pinch to the stomach. Once the tube was pulled out, my throat did feel slightly sore and scratchy but it did go away after a couple of days. The staff were extremely supportive and I even had the nurse hold my hand as I was so terrified. I would recommend the throat spray as its quick and the numbing goes away 5/10 minutes after the procedure. Also you can go home straight after which was great and you can eat. The procedure is slightly uncomfortable but endurable. I think the worst of it is just simply the nerves before it. During the procedure I think the best thing to do is take deep slow breathes, close your eyes if it helps and just know that it will all be done and over with very quickly. If I had to go through it again, I would as it is not as bad as some people portray it on here.

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MissCupcake said on 07 March 2013

I had an endoscopy with a biopsy done about two weeks ago. I was quite nervous especially the night before and I had decided to google the procedure as I was unsure on whether to opt for the throat spray or sedation. After looking on here I decided to go for throat spray as I didn't want to feel groggy or disorientated afterwards and I wasn't comfortable with an IV. Also as scared as I was, I would rather be in control and know what was happening instead of being sedated and only half aware of what was going on. The procedure was quite quick. It only takes about 15 minutes including the biopsies being done. The throat spray was a slightly bitter but it did numb my throat within a couple of minutes. I was given a mouth guard so that they were able to put the tube through. I didn't feel much in my mouth and I only had to swallow a little and the tube was already down in my stomach. I felt the biopsy to be slightly painful as it was a bit of a pinch to the stomach. Once the tube was pulled out, my throat did feel slightly sore and scratchy but it did go away after a couple of days. The staff were extremely supportive and I even had the nurse hold my hand as I was so terrified. I would recommend the throat spray as its quick and the numbing goes away 5/10 minutes after the procedure. Also you can go home straight after which was great and you can eat. The procedure is slightly uncomfortable but endurable. I think the worst of it is just simply the nerves before it. During the procedure I think the best thing to do is take deep slow breathes, close your eyes if it helps and just know that it will all be done and over with very quickly. If I had to go through it again, I would as it is not as bad as some people portray it on here.

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jessjam2217 said on 06 March 2013

I had my first endoscopy yesterday and after reading all of the above comments I got myself really worked up. I got myself so worked up they couldnt find a vein to sedate me properly, so I was fully aware of everything that was going on!
My honest comment is that the procedure is over very quickly, the worst thing was the wretching. I am now sufferring with muscular aches today!
I had my throat sprayed 10 times and kept my eyes closed throughout the procedure. The nurses were very reassuring. I kept thinking of nice things as much as possible until the procedure was over.
Honestly the best advice is to try and relax as the procedure is so quick!

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User744571 said on 30 January 2013

I want to add to my report that I too was frightened to ose my eyes and sleep since this procedure. I could see the doctor pushing the tube down my throat. I too had to be restrained when I was having the procedure. I have been having nightmares since and psychologically it is a horrendous experience. Surely sedation where the patient is put out properly would be the best option as the patient would be completely relaxed and the procedure can be done more safely with less trauma. The nurse had said that the sedation used was only mild and that the patient is left only a little groggy and knows what is going on. She had said that the colonoscopy was painful afterwards and she had said that gas and air was the best. I saw the other patients in pain on the bed after the procedure and this also put me off and made me very frightened and tense. Please can patients in future no matter what age they are are sedated so that they are asleep and dont know what is going on making this procedure less painful.

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User744571 said on 30 January 2013

oh god! I went to bolton hospital to have a gastroscopy and colonoscopy. 2 procedures in 1 day. I had done a faecal screening test for bowel cancer previously and the results had come back normal a few days before I was due to go for the colonoscopy. I explained this to the doctor and he said it was up to me and I did not need to have the colonoscopy as well. I had wanted to have the sedation, but I was advised by the nurse who completed there to not have sedation. She said that I could have gas and air as I did when I went through childbirth and it would not be as painful. She said that the sedation was only mild sedation and if I had the gas and air first then I would be able to have sedation afterwards should I require it. I took her advice and did not have the sedation. In fact I was confused in the end. The gastroscopy first. I had the throat spray. The tube was then inserted into my mouth, down my throat and through my oesophagus into my stomach. I could feel the tube and I was gagging all the time thinking I was going to choke and I could not do anything about it. The male nurse was very good to me and kept telling me to relax and breath deeply. I was very tense and panic stricken. I am normally brave. It was horrendous. I was gagging all the way through it and just wanted it to stop. I have never experienced anything so traumatic. I am still suffering with nightmares since the procedure. I have been upset since I came home. I would say to anyone thinking of having this done to opt for the sedation and asked to be put out and not be persuaded otherwise. I was so traumatised I could not have the colonoscopy as well. I refused to have this done at the same time as I was so traumatised. The gastroscopy test showed some inflammation. I was advised to carry on taking the omeprazole. I am still waiting to see my GP. Unless someone has been through it themselves they would not know how traumatic the procedure can be.

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Anonymous said on 21 January 2013

I went for gastroscopy recently to investigate stomach issues, and opted for the throat spray. The attending nurses, endoscopist and recovery nurses were all extremely kind, reassuring and professional, but I have to be honest and say I found the procedure traumatic. It was a quick procedure, no more than 5 minutes, as I had asked the endoscopist please to get it over with as quickly as possible, and she totally respected this - but that didn't stop me from feeling very distressed.

I retched violently all the way through and ended up sobbing in recovery. Hours later at home I still felt emotionally raw and exhausted, so I had a rest to try and get over it.

Physically I was ok - a slightly sore throat afterwards, but nothing serious. My stomach was fine too - a little delicate at first but again, nothing to worry about. I followed my dietician's advice to drink gentle herb teas and eat a light chicken soup afterwards on the day, which worked well.

I made a choice for the throat spray as I didn't want the hassle of after-effects, and I wanted to know the diagnosis quickly. Thankfully it's turned out well and everything's normal, which is a huge relief.

I would say to anyone who is perhaps of a sensitive disposition to consider sedation, and definitely to have someone with them to comfort them afterwards. Even if you don't have the sedation, take the day off, go home and rest.

Unfortunately procedures like this are unpleasant and you do have to steel yourself for them, but in the end it's far more sensible to get a proper diagnosis rather than remaining anxious about the unknown.

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MX52 said on 16 January 2013

I had my endoscopy yesterday at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, and I was terrified out of my wits. But it was an absolute breeze. I was first talked thru the process by a Healthcare Assistant, then I was taken in and given the spray, which wasn't that bad. I opted for sedation because I wanted to be completely relaxed to avoid any potential problems with panic and perforation, etc, and I really think it was the best choice because I was asleep before they even started, I didn't feel a thing, and I woke up an hour later not groggy at all. I went home for the rest of the day but could easily have gone to work. This morning I have a slight sensation of internal bruising at the top of my stomach but it is not painful. My doctor advised me to have the sedation, saying that it was better for the body to be completely relaxed and I agree. If I had to go thru the process again, I would absolutely take the sedation route.

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Scared Stiff said on 14 December 2012

Just had mine done today (at the Horton Banbury), I was completely scared of what it would be like and what they would find. I was refereed due to a stomach bleed two weeks ago.

I had the spray as I wanted to be in control, the spray to be honest is the worst part as it makes you gag a bit and makes it really hard to swallow.

The actual procedure is not painful but just uncomfortable, specially when wiggling around in your stomach.

It takes about 5 minutes, and my Nurse the aptly named "Patience" was brilliant at keeping my calm and reminding me to breath!! I did set the alarms off for high heart rate though, due to the stress of it :)

It turns out the worry was for nothing and I'm normal, well on the inside anyway :)

They take biopsies to check for the bacteria that causes ulcers, I was surprised how hard they pull, but you don't feel a thing.

At one point I let out a massive burp, if nothing else made me laugh (well laughing through the mouth piece and pipe stuck done your throat).

So in summary, yes its not a thing you will go out of you way to do, but its also routine and not as bad as you think it will be.

Sedation looked worse to me, as it is a lot more involved, I was in and out within a hour, the sedation people, would be there pretty much all day!

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strawberryblonde54 said on 13 December 2012

I had my endoscopy yesterday. I worried about it constantly for 5 weeks. I suffer from anxiety and have panic attacks and knew that this procedure would be anightmare for me. I decided to go without sedation as I was scared of that too - in truth Im scared of nearly everything. However, the procedure was not nearly as bad as I thought it wuld be , I had the throat spray, not very nice taste but not too bad. After putting the mouth guard in the doctor gently guided the tube towards my throat and it easily entered my oesophagus, painless and only slightly uncomfortable. I could feel the tubemoving about in my stomach, but it really wasnt too scary and not at all painful. After 3-4 minutes it was over. It really was quite easy and not worth all the hours of anxiety I had over the past few weeks. The fear of it was far worse than the actual procedure. If I can do it, anyone can. Trust me.

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graham1946 said on 12 December 2012

I have just had a endosopy at Worcester,and was a little worried,but i should not have been it was very painless.I was given the mouth spray,and the tube was inserted i swallowed a few times which actually helped,After it was done the tube was withdrawn.I had a funny throat for about 20 mins,and then nothing,i was very surprised how painless the whole procedure is.Maybe i had such wonderful hospital staff doing the job.I think they all do a wonderful job in the NHS.

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JamesWaller said on 30 October 2012

I've been meaning to leave a message here a for awhile, and have just specifically created an account so I can do this. I just want people to know that this isnt a procedure worth spending any time worrying over. I was nervous before having my endoscopy earlier this year. I made the obvious mistake of reading forums about the procedure first and seeing the innevitable bad accounts that you get with anything! I also knew how strong my gag reflex is (can't brush my wisdom teeth without gagging). Nevertheless I opted for just the throat spray, and the whole procedure was quick and painless. It's all about keeping calm, realising you can breathe just the same as normal, and just relaxing. Its over so quickly. Sure its not amazingly comfortable, and yes I gagged quite a bit during it, but its no worse than your average trip to the dentist. And you've got a nurse there reassurring you constantly the whole time. Don't listen to the overly dramatic negative accounts, it truly isn't anything to waste time worrying about :)

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DUPE AWODEU OYENAME said on 29 October 2012

Reading through your email was kind of strange and I noticed we both had the same operation under anathestic called Endoscopy which is a procedure where your internal body is examined using a tube with a camera. I requested for a mouth Spray rather than sedation as I went alone to the hospital. 

I panicked initially and I started choking and the nurse asked me to relax and breath normally and after a few seconds I will panicked and tried to breath forcefully and which causes me to choke and again they used an object to suck something from my mouth which I could not remember. I will relax again and breath for may be 30 seconds and the n I would panic and the choking will begin again. The nurses kept saying relax and breath and is only a few more minutes which look like eternity and then they said it's coming out and this took for ever for the tube to be finally out. 

The worst part is that you can not talk and I kept waving my hands frantically for them to stop and they just carried on with the procedure despite my intentions. I suppose they never knew what I was trying to say anyway and I never knew it was this painful. It probably took about 5 minutes or more and I couldn't recollect and my mouth was numbed for about 10 minutes and full of saliva and I could not talk to the nurse and just kept nodding to her. She was laughing and mimicking me and I thought I better spit the saliva out in other to chat to her. I got up and spat it out and everything came back to normal after a few minutes and I was able to communicate with her normally which was a massive relief and I left the hospital within 15 minutes by myself and Glad to be home

I felt some slight pain behind my throat at home and some slight discomfort on the left side of my tummy on the 1st nite and I took Aloe. The check indicated no major problems and I am glad it's over.

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soxonstone said on 31 August 2012

I was nervous about the endoscopy this morning, but really need not have been! Given the choice of sedation or the throat spray at The John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, I opted for the latter as I was told that I would have the gagging feeling with both. With the choice of being able to have a normal day ahead or be drowsy and unable to drive, I selected to have a normal day. The throat spray had a banana taste with a hint of antiseptic, so not exactly pleasant, but was acceptable. Having been told by the nurse that I may experience a lump like a golf ball in my throat, and the gagging feeeling as the tube went down, I experienced neither. I reached a few times when the tube was inside and it was mildly uncomfortable. What I appreciated most was the staff who talked me through the whole process. Within 30 minutes, the numbness had gone. Now at the end of the day, I have almost forgotten that 24 hours ago I was a nervous wreck.

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JadedP said on 23 August 2012

I have just returned home after endoscopy appointment Kendal Hospital. I was not given spray, they said that they would do this without. It was the first time I'd had this, and they gave me a mouthpiece which I insurted into my mouth. A consultant, a young man and a nurse were all talking at once but I managed to figure out what they wanted me to do. I was to swallow the tube. I tried and gagged. I tried again and managed to get the camera down past my voice box but started to gag again, wretching 3-4 times making me struggle for breath-the nurse seemed to then prompt the young man in there to "oxygen levels" . The procedure was stopped. I was told that I would have to make another appointment to be anaesthetised for my endoscopy, but on return to the ward I was told that I could not have the endoscopy at that hospital because of closure and would have to be referred back to my GP to see another consultant and start this process all over again! I have a sore throat, sore to touch, a sore mouth where at one point the endoscopy was pushed nearly through my cheek, and this experience has left me feeling like I've been shafted! I am sure that after waiting all day, having no food since the night before, further travel to another hosp. another consultant, I am loathe to repeat this experience again!

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FletchLondon said on 02 August 2012

Just wanted to leave my experience for everyone as reading comments here helped me before my endoscopy today at St Mary's Sidcup. Like most, I was apprehensive about the procedure, and didn't make mind up whether to go with the throat spray or sedation until I was in the room. Actually talking face to face with the nurse put me at ease and their suggestion that it is better to go with spray if you can helped me make my mind up. Now I am one of those people who doesn't like a visit to the dentist so the thought of the endoscopy was not a good one! After the first try to get the endoscope down my throat I was determined not to have sedation and it is a case of mind over matter - I focused, and despite the fact that I cannot say I enjoyed it, the fact that I can say this to you after being able to walk out of the hospital 20 mins after the procedure made it worth while.....that and my fear of injections! I had to have a biopsy taken and that was the only time I felt anything inside my stomach, that said it was not unpleasant. As others on here have said i just focused on my breathing, once I had this under control i could focus on thinking about anything else other than what was actually happening! My focus was seeing the look on the face of my partner when i came out quickly and that they didn't need wait for 2 hours! I would suggest to anyone having to go through this that the fear of the procedure is worse than the procedure itself. The nurses were really supportive and the doctor very informative both during and after the endoscopy.

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jordalcal said on 29 July 2012

After several weeks waiting of waiting for my endoscopy appointment the day had finally arrived, I had been so nervous and petrified of what was about to happen to me but now its over im wonderig what all the fuss was about! i had the sedation and at our hospital they give the throat spray regardless, I can honestly say i didnt feel any discomfort what so ever, The last thing i recall was the nurse putting in the mouth guard and then nothing till the main lights
came back on and the nurse was telling me its all over! To anybody who is awaiting their appointment please be assured there is nothing to fear what so ever.

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SussexJim said on 09 July 2012

I had an Endoscopy the other day with spray (ie no sedation).

You might get the impression from some of the other comments here that it is a breeze, it isn't. Or rather, it may not be.

After today's procedure the Dr and a nurse commented that I had been a perfect patient, probably because I had been able to stifle all of my natural instincts and make it appear that I was quite unaffected by the experience. That was not the case.

Allowing someone to put a flexible pipe down your throat and position it to look at your inner parts is not natural. It took all of my will power to keep my mind on the all important breathing and to keep my brain well away from thinking about what was actually going on. The Nurse gave numerous words of comfort and reassurance throughout, without which I would almost certainly have panicked. I thought once or twice that the maneuvering of the tubing was more than a little challenging, particularly when it was operating at extremes of penetration.

I haven't written this comment with the intention of increasing reader apprehension. My two main points are that you should approach this with a realistic mental image in your mind of what is to happen and that you strongly concentrate on breathing whilst it is happening.

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christobel said on 07 July 2012

I am 65. I had a gastroscopy at St Thomas's Hospital (London) last week and opted for the numbing throat spray. All the team were really encouraging and after initial gagging and hiccoughing, the sensation was fairly minimal. However, I had my back to the screen and would have much preferred to see what was going on, although I had a blow by blow commentary from the doctor.
Tomorrow they are giving me a colonoscopy and I am just grateful that so much care is being given to me, to find out what's wrong. I have a hiatus hernia and stomach bleeding and could possibly have a laparoscopic intervention later on. If necessary, I feel keen to do this, as I had a laparoscopic hysterectomy last August at King's College Hospital (a false alarm but better safe than sorry) and was able to go shopping two days after the op and was racing up and down the Derbyshire dales with my nephew's lovely, lively dog a couple of weeks after that. Absolutely no visible scars and was in my bikini a few weeks later.

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Bolognesey said on 07 June 2012

I had my upper endoscopy earlier today, no sedation and it was a breeze! Sure, there's the horrible taste of the throat spray but I found it no worse than a shot of whiskey. The initial insertion and the inevitable gagging aren't the best but I must say, once it was past the throat, the experience wasn't too bad at all. Mild discomfort when the scope had reached its end point and a strange tug when the biopsies were taken but I'm sure there are worse things in the world. Scope coming out was simple, didn't even realise it was all over until I dared open my eyes for a look and saw the bright end light. This evening I don't feel quite right but I'm not in pain, rather just feeling hungry. For information, I'm 33, never had any medical procedures before but would say I'm quite matter of fact at dealing with things - no doubt everyone has a different experience - we share one thing though, all wanting to know what's wrong and fingers crossed for speedy recoveries.

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kdwalter said on 31 May 2012

I had an endoscopy examination done today at East Surrey Hospital - what a lot of worry about nothing!
I decided to go with just the throat spray and was glad that I did, as I felt almost nothing at all. I didn't even gag when the instrument when down my throat.
The only part that worried me at all was the feeling in the back of my throat when the spray started to work. I had a slight panic at first, but soon realised that I could still breath OK and although difficult (as I could hardly feel anything) I could still swallow. Once inside, the instrument caused me no pain at all. I could feel something in my stomach, but not even what I'd call discomfort.

Thank you to all the staff at East Surrey Hospital's Endoscopy unit - you are all angels

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bearbear said on 30 May 2012

Had an endoscopy 2 days ago-I wouldn't volunteer to have another but it wasn't as bad as I expected. The confident caring and professional staff at Good Hope Hospital made me feel that I was in good hands. In a nutshell-its a bit uncomfortable but nothing terrible.

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yiya said on 28 May 2012

To the gentleman commenting on asking medical professionals instead of patients. That is why we are here, to ask patients because I for one would not trust what medical; professionals say. They say what they think you want you to hear to suit their purposes and most of the time dont communicate all the information. I would never have any procedure or treatment without researching it thoroughly on-line including asking other patients first

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rmmoo said on 18 May 2012

I had an endoscopy back in March. I have a healthcare background so wasn't particularly anxious about it but I definitely wasn't looking forward to it. I opted for sedation which was a good thing as I gagged even when they sprayed the anaesthetic on my throat! Have to say I only remember them putting the mouthguard in and then taking the scope out, apart from that nothing else about the procedure in between. Took about 45 minutes to wake up properly and I was able to manage the short walk home with my housemate (with the nurse's permission). Slept for a couple of hours on the sofa that evening (so did my housemate though) and think that may have been due in part to the hunger as I had an afternoon appointment and didn't get up in time to eat something that morning. Then you aren't allowed to eat until the local anaesthetic wears off which I think was another 2 hours after the procedure.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned though - I went to donate blood on Monday and was told I couldn't due to the endoscopy. Apparently you have to wait 6 months before you're allowed. I was lucky as I didn't have to wait long before I was seen by a nurse in the blood transfusion board but as a lot of people go to give blood in their lunch break it would be good if you were informed in the patient information sheet for the endoscopy that you can't donate for a certain time so people don't waste their time. Just a suggestion.

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GTB said on 18 May 2012

Just had an endoscopy without sedation and glad I did. Gagged briefly as the scope went down my throat, but just once and they don't hang around there.
Felt a bit uncomfortable as the scope went further down and felt briefly sick at one point, but remembered to focus on breathing.
Had a couple of polyps removed and felt them being pulled, but not painful. Soon finished and not even any gagging as the scope came out.
Advantage of no sedation? I walked out of the unit 10 minutes after the procedure and am now back home and looking forward to some food.
Its not pleasant, but certainly nothing to worry about. 5 minutes of discomfort that can put your mind at ease.

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rmmoo said on 15 March 2012

As the previous poster said, more people are likely to post bad experiences than good which is why I hope to reassure some people going for an endoscopy soon with my experience. I had an upper GI endoscopy two days ago and while I wasn't absolutely dreading it as I have a healthcare background I wasn't looking forward to it either. I opted for sedation as I have been known to gag even when brushing my wisdom teeth so I knew I wouldn't tolerate a scope going down. This was further confirmed when I gagged when they sprayed the local on the back of my throat. I can honestly say the only things I remember about the actual procedure was the mouthguard being put in my mouth at the start and the scope being pulled out at the end. Fair enough, I was already tired anyway as my appointment wasn't until the afternoon and I hadn't eaten since the night before therefore I probably feel asleep pretty easily. After the procedure they kept me for about an hour in recovery and I was able to walk the short distance home with my friend. I slept for about two hours that evening but was able to eat no problem. I'm feeling a bit of abdominal discomfort now but nothing worse than a feeling of tightening/heartburn. I understand that people can have horrendous experiences but I do believe that this are in the minority compared to the number of procedures that are performed.

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johnny be good said on 13 March 2012

If you are due to have any form of endoscopy and are worried about the procedure, I recommend that you ignore anything you read in the dozens of “endoscopy reviews” (including this one, apart from the first paragraph) which are based on individual patient experience. Instead, speak to a health professional, ring the unit that you are due to attend, ask to speak to an endoscopy nurse and discuss your issues with them. They will answer your questions based on knowledge gleaned from years of study and from seeing hundreds if not thousands of these procedures. I get the impression that people that have had bad endoscopy experiences feel compelled to write reviews, whilst people that had good experiences do not.
I recently had a colonoscopy at Arrowe Park Hospital, Wirral. I was horrified when I read some of the patient experiences: “worse than childbirth”, “excruciating pain”, I was absolutely terrified. I called the endoscopy unit phone number on the bottom of my appointment form and spoke to an endoscopy nurse. He listened to my fears and explained that the vast majority of people tolerate the procedure very well. He also listed a few rare conditions that predispose to more complicated procedures.
I was not altogether reassured and turned up for my appointment in quite a nervous state
I can honestly say there was no real pain at all during any part of the procedure. Any discomfort was nothing worse than a bad case of indigestion. The sedation was light but effective and wore off rapidly afterwards. The staff on the unit were excellent, very reassuring. 90 minutes after walking into the unit I was walking out of it, all done, feeling fine.
I found the “bowel cleansing procedure” the day before a bit of a bind, but it’s ok as long as you stay close to the loo. The 2 litres of Moviprep solution had a bitter taste but was otherwise quite palatable and, contrary to other reports I have read, it did not leave me feeling dehydrated.

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Wombat1 said on 07 March 2012

I had a gastroscopy today at Norwich Hospital who were fantastic throughout. I chose not to have the sedation as the throat spray was very effective. The whole procedure was absolutely fine, a little uncomfortable at times but if you just focus on your breathing and rely on some inner strength you will be OK. I would definitely recommend going without the sedation as you will be in total control of your reactions and fully aware of what is going on. The biopsy was also totally painless. Just go for it!

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Wombat1 said on 07 March 2012

I had a gastroscopy today at Norwich Hospital who were fantastic throughout. I chose not to have the sedation as the throat spray was very effective. The whole procedure was absolutely fine, a little uncomfortable at times but if you just focus on your breathing and rely on some inner strength you will be OK. I would definitely recommend going without the sedation as you will be in total control of your reactions and fully aware of what is going on. The biopsy was also totally painless. Just go for it!

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rew343 said on 06 March 2012

Hi I am to have an endoscopy on Sunday and I was wondering when do you choose wither you want sedation or the spray, does anyone know?

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LMMarzella said on 02 March 2012

I had an endoscopy today and was dreading it, especially after reading so many awful accounts. I chose sedation because I was so nervous and it did work. During the procedure I was aware of what was going on but felt calm. It was not nearly as painful as I thought. Infact, I do not recall pain just discomfort and gagging a lot. However, the nurses were fantastic and talked me thought the gagging, e.g. breath deeply now. My endoscopy took a little longer becuase I have a condition called Situs Innversus where my organs are on the wrong side of the body so it took the doctor a little longer to find what he was looking for! Even with this added pressure I did not find the experience as traumatic as some maKe out. I know that I will have to go again in the future and whilst it's not something I will look forward to I certainly will not feel as frightened. I will opt for sedation again too as it wore off after a few hours. Apart from feeling sleepy, a bit of a sore throat and minor stomach cramps I feel fine. I am just looking forward to getting the results and my health improving.

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Jasmine rose said on 02 March 2012

Just wanted to say, I have recently had a colonoscopy.I had been really worried about having this done but really there was no need at all !
Everyone at Basingstoke Hospital was lovely and kind and friendly . The procedure was no problem at all. Helped along by the fantastic doctors and nurses I was totally made to feel at ease - I was also worried that it was all going to be very undignified but all was so discrete,it really wasn't at all.
I had the sedative to help and felt no pain at all, I was able to watch on screen which was very interesting and we chatted through out which hurried things along. In no time at all I was in recovery, where I had a very enjoyable cup
of coffee and a biscuit . I went home shortly after and although a bit tired, I felt fine and my usual self.

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EmmaB87 said on 27 February 2012

I am a 24 year old patient who had an endoscopy last friday at Darent Valley Hospital. I too was nervous following comments left on here. However, the endoscopy was completely fine and I had no side effects whatsoever. I opted not to have the sedation, just the throat spray, which meant I could leave half an hour after the procedure, and I did not have a sore throat afterwards. Also, the throat spray was banana flavoured, so that was a bonus!! Having a numb throat does feel a little strange but the spray wears off pretty quickly afterwards. With sedation you have to stay in the hospital for up to two hours afterwards to allow the affects of the medication to wear off and have to be accompanied for 24 hours following the procedure. The staff were very friendly, they explained the entire procedure beforehand and were reassuring throughout. The endoscope did make me swallow and gag a few times, but the main thing was to focus on breathing through your nose and to not think about what was happening. The whole thing lasted approximately 5 minutes and I was diagnosed there and then. Given that I have been suffering with stomach pain since April 2011, this was a massive relief! They also discuss your diagnosis afterwards and recommend follow up treatment.

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Scott Lewis said on 18 February 2012

I had an OGD gastroscopy without sedation at the Cottage Hospital in Epsom just yesterday and wanted to list my refections here along with everyone else. Like many folk I had read some of the alarming comments on this site and immediately felt a hundred times worse about the whole thing. That was a mistake on my part - the reality of the procedure was nowhere near as traumatic as I'd envisaged. For one thing, the staff were incredibly kind and caring. They fully understood my trepidation and did everything possible to put me at ease. In a very short space of time I trusted these people and felt more condfident. Secondly the spray they use to numb the throat really is powerful stuff. It's the same drug that is injected into your jaw at the dentists. I didn't feel anything at all when the tube (which is fairly thin) was gently laid on my tongue and fed down in short stages. I was asked to swallow a few times to help it along. Not at any point did it feel like I had something stuck in my throat. The throat spray completely deadened the whole area. There was no impairment to breathing either - I breathed through my nose normally and without strain. In total the tube was inside me for about 3-4 minutes. Admittedly at some points things became uncomfortable, but the doctors warn you when this is about to happen so you are ready for it. Please believe me though, any discomfort is fleeting and the whole thing is carried out as quickly as possible. All in all I was incredibly impressed by how fast and efficiently the staff worked. Would I have it done again? If I absolutely had to - yes. I might not look forward to it, but the peace of mind it gave me after 6 months or so of gastric pain was more than worth it. Don't spend any time worrying about this procedure, most of the anguish associated with it is in the build-up, thinking about it - not in the reality of the procedure itself.

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Basingstoke patient said on 11 February 2012

I had an endoscopy a couple of days ago, followed by a colonoscopy, at the Basingstoke DTC, every member of staff I met, was fantastic. They were not rushed, were understanding and extremely professional. I had a sedative, I barely knew the endoscopy was taking place. Colonoscopy a bit uncomfortable at times, but staff were very supportive and made sure I was okay, all the way through it. I had read previous comments before I went in, and was concerned how bad it was going to be.
I wanted to balance out the comments. I would have it done again, if needed, and like to reassure others. It is not always horrific.

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LynnyBee said on 22 January 2012

I too had endoscopy with sedation this week and it was the most harrowing, horrendous experience i have ever been through and i have been through labour, multiple loses, broken bones and a laproscopy , septacemia amongst a few.....Biopsy was taken ( excruciating) and the pain from the whole procedure was immence. 4 people held me down and my eyes are left so sore and bloodshot from the pressure of pain and wretching that i look like i'm haemorraging. I have been in continuos pain ever since. I didn't sleep until 4am the following morning for the sheer fear of the visions i was seeing every time i shut my eyes and am still very disturbed. I agree with 'azintom'.... you should be given General Anethestic for this procedure its inhumane and barbaric as for "the sedative will make you forget" i remember it too clearly.

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Enda13 said on 18 January 2012

I had an endoscopy today without sedation and had no problems with the procedure. I had been concerned about not having sedation but was reassured by the hospital staff that if I were to find things too uncomfortable during the procedure sedation could be arranged. The whole experience only lasted for about five minutes in a calming atmosphere. The doctor explained what was happening throughout. I simply took deep breaths and concentrated on remaining calm and can honestly report that I only experienced a little discomfort. Afterwards I didn't even have the expected sore throat.

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sweetpie said on 31 December 2011

I had an endoscopy two days ago, I am still having nightmares about the experience. I had no sedation only throat spray, I too wretched all the way through. My body still aches from wretching so much. I have a high pain threshold but this wasn't pain it was something much worse. Anybody reading this have the sedation.

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RachelNRD said on 05 December 2011

Having read some of the comments on here I was very nervous about my gastronomy last week. However - my worries were in vain! Staff could not have been more reassuring and after some discussion, I decided to go with the sedation offered. I felt only a little discomfort when the needle went in, followed by nothing until it was all over and I went back to the waiting area for half an hour. I had expected to feel uncomforatble for the rest of the day and reluctant to eat, but at teatime I was tucking into my meal as usual. I hope this reassures others.

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azintom said on 07 November 2011

I recently had to have an endosopy to see what was going on in my colon.I asked to be put out as was told that I could not and that I would be given a sedative which will make be relax .. It had no effect whatsoever and I was given Buscopan to help with the pain.The pain I experienced was horrendous and I had three nurses holding me down and pressing against my staomache so the procedure could continue. I have a high tolerence of pain have had 3 children undergone major surgery and recovered from cancer, but this procedure was the most horrific pain eexperience of my life .Surely in the guidelines need to be addressed and with some urgency.I found the whole experience barbaric and inhumane! Sorry to those who read this , but felt I had to let others know of this traumatic experience.Yours may be ok- well I hope so .

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truebut anon said on 02 October 2011

I had an endoscopy a couple of years ago. Entry was through the penis. No sedation. Very slight initial unpleasant sensation but nothing else. No problem. I'm sorry that previous contributors have had unfortunate experiences but I must speak for the positve side. It was good to know that all was well with me.

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taylor a said on 27 July 2011

i had my endoscopy today and after googling was terrified. due to circumstances i had to opt for no sedation. the doctor was very good at explaining and reassuring me although i would be in discomfort i would be safe. i am normally a panicker but i managed to remain calm and focus on my breathing an remind myself i was in safe hands and it would be over soon. i had throat spray and when the camera went in i was fine, no gagging or pain. yes i was uncomfortable and felt slight pain when it was in my stomach an through to intestine, a really strange sensation. but all in all it wasnt a bad experience. i feel if i had been sedated and not fully aware i probably would have panicked more . and i`ve learned googling probably isn`t a good idea.

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lynn prescott said on 22 July 2011

i had an endoscopy today with sedation, it did absolutely nothing, i felt the tube going down and wretched all the way through, it was horrible, i recommend to be out of it if anyone is having it done, never again!!!!

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