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bronchoscopy--Under or not?


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I had a bronchoscopy about twenty years ago and they put me completely under--which was great for me!!! The Drs I now have refuse to put me under saying it is not a medical necessity one time and the other time I asked they had a different answer saying it is not done????

What's the deal? I would like to know others' experiences with this procedure. Were you able to be put under if that is what you wanted?

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I feel like a moron saying this, but I THINK I had a bronchoscopy done last September (is that the same as a "scope" to see what is going on down your throat?)

In any event, they did what they referred to as "consious sedation" -- they don't technically put you under, but whatever they gave me made me so loopy that one minute I was laying on a table and the next minute I was sitting on a chair in a different room!

When your doc says it isn't necessary to put you under, ask him exactly what they DO do to sedate you! He may just be saying that they don't need an anisteseologist to put you completely under, but you will still pretty much be "out"!

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Guest bean_si (Not Active)

I was completely conscious. They could not give me anything since by blood pressure took the opportunity-- just before the test -- to dive to 60/48 - not sure about lower number although I was actually watching the monitor.

It was not a good experience but the chances of you being completely conscious are next to nil.

((((Elaine))))

Cat

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I had one done this past June, and it wasn't nearly as awful as I was told beforehand. I had no pain during the procedure, and had some really GOOD drugs that made me not really care what they were doing! I remember coughing a lot and trying not to, and the nurses telling me to go ahead and cough. The whole thing took less than 10 minutes or so, and they told me before it started that they needed me awake and responsive during the procedure. Maybe that's why they no longer use a general anesthetic???

I dreaded this procedure the night before, but once it was over, I couldn't believe how very simple it was -- and painless. It isn't something I'd recommend to have frequently, but I'd have it again before I'd go inside an MRI tube with the jackhammer -- no question!

What has helped me a whole lot with some of the procedures, even the CT/PET scans, was what they call "deep cleansing breaths" in Lamaze classes. It's a slow, deep breath in through the nose, and then a slow breath out through the mouth. A few of those, and I'm more able to relax and get my mind off what they are doing. (Well, all except for the MRI!!)

Dianne

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When I was first going down this road (April 2002), I had two. The first one I was completely out and the second one I was not. I guess I would opt for being "with it" if it had to be done again. I was able to see what they were looking at, the doctor checked my vocal chords, I just was more a part of the procedure and I didn't have to figure out who could drive me there and wait the several hours it otherwise would take. The second one was done by the chief of pulmonary medicine at UCSD and that is just the way he always does them...he also works on dolphins at Sea World and is a fantastic doctor and compassionate person. The worst part was being sprayed with the numbing agent, but as Eleanor Roosevelt said, "you must do the things you think you cannot do" and have I ever learned that to be true!

Good luck with whichever way you go.

Margaret

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When I was first going down this road (April 2002), I had two. The first one I was completely out and the second one I was not. I guess I would opt for being "with it" if it had to be done again. I was able to see what they were looking at, the doctor checked my vocal chords, I just was more a part of the procedure and I didn't have to figure out who could drive me there and wait the several hours it otherwise would take. The second one was done by the chief of pulmonary medicine at UCSD and that is just the way he always does them...he also works on dolphins at Sea World and is a fantastic doctor and compassionate person. The worst part was being sprayed with the numbing agent, but as Eleanor Roosevelt said, "you must do the things you think you cannot do" and have I ever learned that to be true!

Good luck with whichever way you go.

Margaret

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Hi Elaine---after my lobectomy in June of 2000---I was leaking too much fluid so they wanted to go back in and take a look around--so I had one several days after my surgery

they did recommend that I be awake---but I said no thanks---please put me out--- and they did and really did not give me an argument-------

I know there is a risk every time you get put out---but I did not think I could stand them putting something down my throat (or is it the nose?)

I never felt a thing---so I guess it depends on the surgeon whether it is their normal procedure or not ---

but if you really want to be out you should tell them so----

regards

Eileen

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Eileen

That is what I don't understand: Why are they giving me an argument? Is it because of insurance? I got suscpicious when they gave me two totally separate reasons- and it was clear they had forgotten the first reason they gave. (Stumbled speech and searching through the charts.) I know I shouldn't be so frightened, but I nearly passed out with panic last time. It is so humiliating. Plus now with what happened to David C, I am in terror. Can't they just listen.

elaine

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Elaine

Sometimes a Dr will do what is easier for them---and this really makes my blood boil---

Can you call your insurance yourself and see if it is covered? I cannot see why it would not be---especially since it is causing you so much distress---you are the patient and it is happening to you---

Unless there is a medical reason that they should not knock you out?----

I mean people can get oral surgery with just novacaine, but some people don't---(I am one of the people that elects to get knocked out)

I am so sorry you have to go through this upset---but honestly if you are that uncomfortable being awake with this procedure--you may have to take this further and press the issue, both with the Dr. and the insurance company

regards

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Elaine, I may have missed this part, but who is "they" that you refer to -- nurses, or a physician? Your physician? Is it a different physician doing this procedure? Are these maybe new people you haven't seen before?

I had mine done while I was hospitalized, so it was done in the hospital's endoscopy lab where they have the equipment for these kinds of procedures. The intake nurse told me exactly what they would be doing -- from start to stop, and that it wouldn't take very long. She helped me to relax, and then the 2 nurses inside the room helped even more by being loose with me -- we talked about finding someone to clean our house, and then they told me about "happy hour" -- when they would inject me with the GOOD drugs! If I have to have another one of these, I'd go back there in a minute. In fact, I'd insist on it, as I have experience with this facility. If I had to go elsewhere and face strangers, or be referred to another doc, I'm not sure I wouldn't be at least somewhat fearful, even though I've had the procedure done before.

I guess what I'm saying to you is that they MUST listen to you, yes. And if this is a different doc than the one you are seeing, then tell your regular doc that this one isn't listening to you. If you're talking to nurses, demand to talk to a doc. Just GET YOUR ANSWERS -- by all means. And remind them every step of the way that if YOU - THE PATIENT, THEREFORE THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN THIS LITTLE PARTY -- aren't satisfied, you can and will refuse the procedure, and/or go elsewhere where you will be treated with more respect.

Dianne

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Elaine,I have had a whole lot of them done.One of the first ones they put me under pr dr. in case they saw something they could at that time biopsy they would.All the rest of them I was given something that completely numbed me to the point 1 sec I was there and next sec. it was over with.(but they say I wasn;t under????)They were all painless and only a little sore day or two after.Every 3 months when getting checkups they always see something that prompts them to wanting broncoscopy done.

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My husband was out for his, but it was done while he was hospitalised (lung leak after first biopsy) and they were replacing the smaller chest tube with a wider one since the leak just wouldn't stop. The surgeon, who later did the lobectomy, decided to go ahead and do both procedures at once.

I'm not sure WHAT they gave him - and he certainly doesn't remember. But he was conscious and alert very soon after the procedure -- which he also doesn't, of course, remember.

Not much help, I'm afraid. I urge you to keep on pushing for as much sedation as you can get. I know I wouldn't want to be awake for and aware of it. But them I'm the consumate coward.

Ellen

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Elaine,

I was full concious during my bronchoscopy. They told me the meds they gave me "might" knock me out but they didn't. I had no pain or discomfort from it and, as a matter of fact, was so interested in what the scope was seeing that the doc moved one of the monitors around so I could watch. :shock:

One thing to consider. One of the riskiest parts of any operation or procedure is the anesthesia. Putting a person completely under involves a lot more risk to the person than using local anesthesia. Which is why good anesthisiologist are in great demand.

You might consider putting up with any discomfort to avoid the risks of full anesthesia.

Dean

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  • 16 years later...

US pulmonary docs administer minimal sedation for bronchoscopy with biopsy,  without an anesthesiologist in OR. All patients remember everything, all patients hate the hour.  Only option is to demand more anesthesia than these sadists claim that "most patients tolerate the new anesthesia protocol." Guessing that the patient can't scream because a pipe is stuck in the throat.  They say "hold your breath" about 12 times, but it is a known medical fact that patients can follow that directive and STILL be sedated to point of not suffering the procedure.  Insurance could be denying the correct sedation but that is based on statistics by doctors : "oh, look, they walked out afterwards!  NO SEDATION FOR YOU MISTER. SUCK IT UP." This is my experience.  Try to convince your doc otherwise, and yell like crazy in Post Op if they don't listen.  Experienced In USA in 2010.  

 

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My experience is that sedation depended on the type of bronchoscopy used. For a flexible bronchoscopy, I had minimal sedation. For the rigid scope, I had general anastasia. 

I’ve had four of these in my treatment experience. I don’t have any recollection of any part of the procedure except for a sore throat for a couple of days. 

Stay the course. 

Tom

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I had a rigid bronchoscope and was put under. Had a great anesthesiologist. I asked for propofel and got it, so I had a nice nap. Just a sore throat for a couple of days afterward. 

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