My surgeon wants to do a yearly flex sig. I don't want to......at least when I'm not at all symptomatic. Does anyone else do yearly scopes?
Replies sorted oldest to newest
I do, but I have chronic issues and a retained rectal cuff more than 40 years since my UC diagnosis. I went from scopes every 2-3 years to every 12-18 months. I've had my j-pouch 20+ years.
Why does your doctor want you on a yearly schedule? Each case should be handled individually, based on your history, including why you had a colectomy. "Not wanting a scope" is the bottom of the list of criteria. Nobody wants one. Have a dialog with your doctor.
I do annual scopes. They are indicated not by symptomology, but by whether you have a history of dysplasia pre-colectomy, or inflammation (particularly in the retained rectal cuff).
I would agree that "I don't want to do a scope" is dead last in the criteria of whether to scope, and next to last is what you feel your symptomology is. All that matters or is irrelevant is whether you have had dysplasia and whether you have had a history of inflammation in the pouch/cuff, regardless of symptoms (I have had inflammation with not many symptoms). If so annual scopes are indicated as a matter of medical industry standard, from what I have been told.
I see from past posts that you are only a year or so from take down. Many surgeons like to follow closely for a few years to be proactive about any possible late complications. If everything stays good with you, you may be able to lengthen time between exams, but again, it all depends on your history.
I'm one year out from getting the perm ileostomy and going Friday for my first annual scope of the pouch. This is the 1st scope I've ever had done when I'm feeling good. I still have the rectal cuff and I know I have lots of inflammation in the cuff and pouch.
I think it sounds pretty standard also for monitoring.
O.K., you all have talked me down. I really wanted to be done with all the poking and prodding and prescriptions but maybe this is the safer path. I never had any dysplasia prior to surgery, but my UC was isolated to the last few inches of the colon, and the entire rectum was affected. I've been totally fine since the DLI reversal though.......tough pill having to go back to getting scoped. Actually we've already tried once.......butthole was on lockdown so, nothing was getting in. And I bled......and that was tough to see, even though it was only the one time immediately after. So, we re-scheduled and the surgeon said I'll be sedated. Maybe it'll go smoothly. Thanks for the replies.
Remember that if you have the rectal cuff and there is a history of inflammation, that is where a cancer is most likely to develop. It's your doctor's call but annual scoping is prudent and if you are sedated (as I am for my annual scopes) discomfort should be a non-issue.
I agree with CTBARRISTER on this one. Sedation makes it easy. And for my dr prep is easier than those with their full colon. It will be quick and you can get it behind you for the year.
I understand your feelings. Friday will be the first scope I've ever had when I'm feeling good. So I am right there with you on this one. My husband just had to force me to make the appt and get it done for the year.
As far as I am concerned, the fact that he cannot pass the scope without sedation means something is not quite right. Perhaps you have a stricture. Those things just get worse with time.
You'll find varying opinions on this. There are some surgeons who believe that annual scopes are necessary due to the risk of cancer in the retained rectal cuff, however other surgeons feel it is not necessary to scope quite so frequently, as the procedure itself is somewhat invasive. As others have said though, a lot also depends on your pre-surgery diagnosis. If you had your colon removed due to cancer or dysplasia, then you may need to be scoped annually. If you've developed pouchitis, cuffitis, ulcers, or other complications after takedown, you will likely also need to be scoped more often.
In my case, I am currently on an every other year schedule. There was one point that I was scoped 3 times in 18 months, though I was having a bleeding problem at the time so I needed to be monitored. I am due for a routine scope later this year.
As for sedation, I've had it done both with and without. If you opt for no sedation, the upside is that you can drive yourself to your appointment and when you're done, go on with the rest of your day. However, a lot of air is pumped in during the procedure, and it can be uncomfortable as you do feel the pressure. It does come down to personal preference, though sometimes the doctor's opinion trumps all. For example, my own surgeon now actually prefers to do the scope with sedation as he feels he can go up a little higher with the scope when patients are sedated. So, for now, it's the drugs for me.