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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know most of you are going to say Colonoscopy but this is my question..is a Barium Enema still a good test?The reason I am leaning towards a Barium Enema is one cost, I have insurance, but I am accumlating alot of out of pocket expense..And I am deadly afraid of being sedated. I take xanax regularly for panic and the GI doctor wants to do it in a hospital with a completely different anthesia.. it just truly scares me.. I am not so scared of a barium enema as I have had about 10 years ago...Any input would greatly be appreciated.. thanks
SusanK
 

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One of the concerns with a barium enema is that if they see something they may need to biopsy (like a polyp or an area that looks inflammed) then they will need to do the colonoscopy anyway.This is also a concern about the "virtual colonoscopy" as well.It can still be a useful test and they are still done, and if you need something and that is all you can afford AND they think it is unlikely they will need to go in anyway. The ask if based on symptoms they think they will see something that will need the colonoscopy to go check out.But if lets say you've grown a polyp over the last 10 years (so if you are over 50 now, which is the age people start doing that sort of thing routinely) they will want to go in and remove it.K.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Kathleen.. I was afraid of hearing that.... I kind of knew that but I am just so terrified of the test and being put under, because I would because of my medication.. you know the thought that I won't wake up... YIKES!!!
 

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I have been told by my Dr and the Radiologist that the Barium will show up all that the Colonoscopy will, but yes if you need to have something removed, you will have to have a second test. However I was also told by the Radiologist that they often have clients booked into Bariums because their colonoscopy can not be completed due to a twisted colon. They then try to book them in either the same day or the very next day so that they do not have to go through the prep again, sometimes they can, sometimes they can not. Either way I think the Barium is a good test, it is cheaper, has a lower risk of perforating the bowel, (This happens very occasionally with colonoscopies and less often with Bariums. It is one of the risks of the test), and you do not have to be put to sleep. I have not had a colonoscopy but have talked to many people who have, I have had a Barium, just recently. The prep is really the same so you don't win there. Don't be afraid, not knowing and worrying is much worse than the test. And either is over quick.Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for that response....that makes me feel better!! I have had several expensive tests done even with having insurance and I don't think my wallet can handle more... plus I really don't want to but put under general anethesia which is what they have to do with me.. that's enough to make my spasms go into overdrive!! Thanks again.. I really appreciate the information.Susan
 

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Susan-I too was afraid of being sedated for my colonoscopy. Even though I knew it was "conscious sedation," I didn't like the idea of being out and not remembering what happened (feels too vulnerable). My GI asked me right before the procedure (this was 3 weeks ago) if I wanted to be completely out, or if I wanted to be kept comfortable and watch. I told him I wanted to be awake and watch, but that if it was very painful to put me out.It went sooo well! I was awake the whole time and remember most of the procedure. I found it very interesting, and was in no pain at all.Please know that this is an option. They used versed (sedative) and fentanyl (pain med) for me. I never went "to sleep," but I do forget some of the fine details. :) And they did do biopsies which were 100% pain free.I have generalized anxiety also, but am not on meds for it. I don't know what they were planning to sedate you with, but it's worth asking.Versed worked great for me. Good luck! Hope all goes well whatever you decide.
 

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Just so's you know - for the future - the capsule endoscopy is the very best test of all, and that is non-invasive, without the prep. Very easy. But also, alas, v. expensive and unless your GI can put forward a good case, most insurance companies won't pay for it.But, in the future, I think/hope it will get less expensive and more GIs will do it. If you are interested, you can scroll down this forum and see my post on Capsule Endoscopy and Eating... because I just had one.Any test is better than none. But I don't think you should be so scared of the colonoscopy. With a good, gentle prep which tastes of nothing (Miralax withducolax tablets) it is so much better than it was. But it must be more expensive than the barium...so do what you have to do. Good luck.O
 

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It also primarily sees the small intestine which a colonoscopy doesn't see, so is a great tool to add to the mix.I think the batteries only last like 8 hours or something so getting a full look at the colon is not going to happen in that time frame.Most websites discuss it's use as a small intestinal diagnositic tool. You won't see most of the colon as it can take a couple of days to pass.The virtual colonoscopy with a CAT scan can get the whole colon.But all these tools that are non-invasive may require a second test to take the biopsy or remove the polyp.K.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all so much for the information.. you gave me more information than my own doctor!!
I think I will probably push for the Barium Enema right now as being on xanax for anxiety I believe the nurse said I would have to have it done at the hospital with general anthesia..I am just terrified of being completely under.. if it was the versed and the other, I would do it, but I have had a hard time with general anthesia in the past, not going under, but coming out.. no thanks unless they feel it is dire, I will do it.. thank you all again!SusanK
 

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I just wanted to say that the colonoscopy is the most accurate of all the test. i just had my first one done on the 30th it was done in a hospital under what they call a twlight. it is not a full general anathesia they do not have to put in any tube and the test itself only takes about 20 to 30 mins. And as was stated in other replys they can remove and biospy any polys right then and there. i would talk to the dr about using the twlight.I had one polyp removed and it was non-cancous i feel so much better knowing that good luck i am sure you will make the right choice for your self
 

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I actually just had last week both an endoscopy and a colonoscopy done. As well in december I had the Barium Enema. Having had both tests. I would say if I had to do a test and had the choice of either. I would go with a colonoscopy. Reasons: 1. barium enema was not accurate and they wanted to do a redue because it didnt work the first time. 2. the prep is better with the colonoscopy(with barium enema you cant eat for 48 hours and I found the laxatives they make you take really hurt and screwed up my bowl) 3. they put you under ansthetics for a colonoscopy, while as with a barium enema your fully awake and feeling everything, which I might add is very very painful and very uncomfortable and something you dont want to remember.This is only my opinion from what I experienced. Im assuming it may be different depending on what a persons symptoms are. I have yet to hear what my results from the colonoscopy are, will know in 5 days.
 

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i was supposed to have the barium enema done the other day, i took a strong laxitive once in morning again in afternoon and then couldnt eat at all..the day of the barium enema i was sooo weak and felt sick, i got changed wait in the waiting room they called me in and then the person that was doing it said that she cant do the test as i wasnt in the first 10days of my period i was sooo angry and upset it couldnt be done and i just knew i have to go through all this again in the next 10days, i know i should of rang ahead but i didnt think it would matter so much as i havnt had sex for abit so i know that i'm not pregnant but still they couldnt do it.. but i think the laxative screwd with my stomach abit,i'm still trying to eat properly and i havn't been for a normal poo since last tue before i took the laxitive, the radiogopher doesnt even think i should be having this test done though as of my age i'm 18 i'm also having the colonoscopy done, do you think this will be better for me?? as the radiogrother thinks soo??
 
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