You’re probably here because you are scheduled for an endoscopy or simply wanting to read some pleasant reviews about this procedure. I know most of the stories you read online about no sedation gastroscopy are horrible, painful, difficulty in breathing, the feeling of being violated and whatnot, but I’m happy to tell you that my experience was totally the opposite.
I had my first endoscopy performed by Dr. Rudy Go at Chong Hua Hospital 2 years ago. I was sedated so basically, I can’t remember anything after receiving a dose of injectable drug. So when Dr. Pek Eng Lim wanted to do the procedure of no sedation endoscopy, I freaked out and opted to take meds for a month, see if the symptoms would improve. Well, after a month of taking Rabeprazole and Mucosta it did, but unfortunately there’s still occasional dull pain and stomach discomfort. This means endoscopy is inevitable.
Dr. Lim agreed to perform sedated endoscopy only after completing a few lab works. After 2 straight days of stomach discomfort and only had an ECG performed, I finally agreed to have it done today, 29th July 2014 — no sedation.
Preparing for the procedure is pretty straightforward. No water or food after 12 midnight and I have to be in the endoscopy unit by 7am. After a couple of chit-chat with the Drs. and Nurses who prepped and reminded me 3 times to just forget about everything and concentrate on breathing, Dr. Lim arrived around 8am and off we go!
There were 4 people inside the room assisting Dr. Lim — 1 holding my head, 1 holding my knees, 1 manipulating the unit’s camera and an observer. Dr. Lim did the pulling and pushing of the endoscope down to my stomach. It was like a party. Little did I know, they all served their purpose to really speed up the procedure. It took about a minute or two and it was the longest minute of my life.
To ease the pain, I received a few squirts of Lidocaine, a common local anesthetic. And the difficulty of breathing? No, it wasn’t difficult to breath at all. There was no drowning-like experience either. I can’t even remember I gagged, probably because of the anesthetic. You do get tears falling on your cheeks as soon as the endoscope enters the esophagus. You get a very little discomfort as it wiggles around your stomach. What you usually get is a really loud belch as the air is pumped into the stomach. Air is used to inflate your stomach to make a room for inspection. Remember, you’re not allowed to eat anything, so it’s flat and empty.
If you’re in Cebu and someone who panics easily of having no sedation endoscopy, I’d seriously recommend Dr. Pek Eng Lim to do the procedure. He works really really fast and keeps you updated while you’re there lying in the bed, looking helpless and squeezing someone’s hand. By the way, the cost of endoscopy as of July 2014 in Cebu Doctors Hospital is around Php 6,500.00 for non-sedated and around Php 10,000.00 for sedated plus the other lab works you need to complete. Your insurance applies.
In all honesty, it’s not really that bad at all.