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A thankyou to NormanH!


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After reading his postings about colo-rectal cancer and early detection I finally bit the bullet and consulted my médécin, he has referred me to the specialist for an endoscopy rather than the selle testing (I presume selle = stool) as my mother died young from cancer of the colon.

He said that it should not hurt as it would be done under anaesthetic but did joke about it being a défoncage [:-))], I probably would never have taken the step and left my head in the sand but for Normans posting, I confided in a friend yesterday, a huge brutish looking Gendarme but with a soft centre, he told me he has had one and it was not so bad.

My only concern is cost, the last time I was referred to a visiting specialist at my surgery it came as a shock when I paid him to find that he did not respect the honoraires, it cost €45 of which I could only reclaim €15.

The doctor said that the coloscopy would be 100% prise en charge and I will again ask the specialist but I have been mislead before, maybe no-one else asks the question as they all have mutuelles, I know that the selle test is 100% prise en charge but is the same true for a coloscopy? It is clearly going to be a much more expensive procedure.

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Your Doctor was quite right to refer you for this examination. My mother, Aunt and Grandmother all died from this disease, and this was a major reason why I had myself tested every 3 years.

I can't tell you the cost yet (I am trying to wade through the ameli pages as I believe there are the notional costs there somewhere), but the bad news is that you have to pay the surgeon, the anaesthetist and  the hospital or clinic for the 'bed' even though it will be done in 'chirugie de jour' . They will also ask fot the 18€ forfait journalier even though you will probably only get a cup of tea after it is all over

You will also have to get medicines to take to clean out your intestines the evening before and an enema the evening before and the morning

Usually you also have a pre examination consultation with the anaesthetist which has to be paid for, and you may be required to have blood test and even a chest XRay, although as it is a light anaesthetic this latter is unlikely

These all add up to a tidy sum, which I have had re_imbursed by the Sécu each time, and to be honest I can't tell you whether it is 100% or 70%

I know you don't have a Mutualle and even 30% could be a couple of hundred euros [:(]

PS I have found this:

Tarif de remboursement mutuelle et sécurité social d'une coloscopie

Le tarif de convention d'une coloscopie est fixé en 2011 à 36,67€, le

tarif de remboursement sécurité sociale, tarif de convention

hystéroscopie diagnostic est de 66,48 €.

Le remboursement sécurité sociale et mutuelle d'une biopsie

d'endomètre sans hystéroscopie est fixé à 42,24 €. Le remboursement d'un

bistournage polype ou fibrome est fixé par la Sécu à 62,70 €.

Comme d'habitude la caisse primaire d'assurance maladie remboursera

sur cette base et appliquera un taux de remboursement de 70 %.

La Sécu rembourse : 24,66 € pour une coloscopie, 45,63 € pour une

hystéroscopie diagnostic et le remboursement d'une biopsie d'endomètre

sans hystéroscopie est de 29,06 €, concernant le bistournage polype ou

fibrome la sécurité sociale vous remboursera la somme de 40,90 €.

I business about 

bistournage polype
is to do with the fact that if they find a polyp or polyps they remove them and cauterise the wound, at the same time sending the polyp for an other exam to see if it is cancerous...and that costs again [+o(][:-))]


There is another more recent exam without anaesthetic      http://www.imagerieparis16.com/2.aspx?sr=6    but I don'y know if it is available chez vous..

The ameli site http://www.ameli.fr/assures/soins-et-remboursements/combien-serez-vous-rembourse/consultations/les-consultations-en-metropole/dans-le-cadre-du-parcours-de-soins-coordonnes.php

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I have done a few worst case calcs assuming the consultations with specialist and the anaesthetist depasse les honoraires, €40 or so for prescribed medications and all the other bits it could come to €350 with me eventually getting back €180 or so.

A bit of a bummer (pun intended [:-))]) but at least I have an idea of what is facing me both financially and physically!

This has been an expensive start to the year as I had a full set of blood tests done, the results of which I am delighted with, losing weight and becoming athletic really has paid dividends, I also had a mammogram so now I finally know what you ladies have to put up with and what it feels like to be a Panini [6]

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Apart from my various ops I have had 5 colostomies in France, the first 12 years ago without anaesthetic [:-))]

The physical side is not too bad, apart from the clear out the night before which involves drinking loads (2+litres) of nasty liquid and then getting rid of it....

And on one occasion I had like colic after for an hour or so as the gas they pump in to open you up, gradually evacuated. I felt I was f*rting for Britain.

They will probably tell you to be with someone the night after an anaesthetic, and not to drive.

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That stuff to get you to empty out, works. Running shoes on, as once you've got to go, you have to go. I found it hard to drink two litres of the stuff, I didn't find the stuff awful to take.

No mutualist, well that is a choice. Mazan used to say that he didn't bother as for the times he needed it, it was cheaper to pay up himself. I suppose that it is between 40-60 euros per month for basic cover.

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quote Idun

"That stuff to get you to empty out, works. Running shoes on, as once you've got to go, you have to go. I found it hard to drink two litres of the stuff, I didn't find the stuff awful to take."

Re. Colonoscopy: I'll second your comment,  Idun

IMO It's survivable and the two days of starvation and preparation were much worse than the actual procedure. Definitely you need someone to drive you home and care for you for 24 hrs afterwards. At the time you may not realise it but whatever they give you as a sedative it is fairly powerful and the effects do take a while to wear off.

On the plus side the tea and biscuits (supplied by the NHS) afterwards were wonderful[:)] also losing 6lbs was great though some of those have crept back on. The best is being told that results are good and that there is nothing wrong with you.

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So all positives then!

Definitely no-one to drive me home or to s'occuper de moi for 24 hours and there is no way that I would risk a pressurised spontaneous evacuation in someone elses car, maybe I could get a bon de transport?

Norman you have probably had to care for yourself after these procedures, is it really imperative to be cared for?

This test is not really for my piece of mind, I would be gobsmacked if it did detect any anomoliies, but hey if it does then I did the right thing and can than Norman even more! No its to encourage my two older sisters who live in perpetual fear of the axe falling on them and wont be tested.

Is there a long wait for the procedure on the NHS?

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I have been lucky in having someone to stay with twice out of the 5 times.

It's more in case of a delayed reaction to the anaesthetic. Given your level of fitness you might be ok.

I they do find some thing

1) might be a polyp...can be shaped like a mushroom which is easy to snip off at the base, or can go down into the surface which is potentially more serious. Each time I have an examination they have found some, but only the the one which was of the second sort gave problems later.

2) Even if they find polyps they are usually benign and are just snipped out during the procedure.

3) It's only when they find the rare malignant polyp that things become serious.

Your sisters should be tested

Caught early it can be cured.

Caught late it is the second cause of death by cancer.

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Chancer said: Is there a long wait via the NHS.

 Well that depends. In October my friend's husband found blood in his stools. Bullied into seeing the Dr, by me, he went. He saw the consultant in a week, had a colonscopy within another week. They found cancerous polyps. Operation, using keyhole surgery, happened very quickly and got rid of them. No chemo, nothing. Currenly holidaying in the Canaries, cancer free.

I have no idea what happens elsewhere at all. I just know that that happened here, recently.

So please tell your sisters, that if they find things early, they then can deal with them and they can get on with their lives.

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So all positives then! Yes

Definitely no-one to drive me home or to s'occuper de moi for 24

hours and there is no way that I would risk a pressurised spontaneous

evacuation in someone elses car, if you do the preparation as and when they tell you to you should be completely "empty" by the time you need to be taken to / from the hospital maybe I could get a bon de transport?

Norman you have probably had to care for yourself after these procedures, is it really imperative to be cared for? This  was definitely the case and O.H. was made to listen to the nurse who gave me the test results and was told to take care of me[:)]  See what Norman says. I think once you are home you would be fine on your own if you are just pottering around the house.

This test is not really for my piece of mind, I would be gobsmacked

if it did detect any anomoliies, but hey if it does then I did the right

thing and can than Norman even more! No its to encourage my two older

sisters who live in perpetual fear of the axe falling on them and wont

be tested.

Is there a long wait for the procedure on the NHS? I think they are very keen on this sort of testing at present and if one is over 60 and had diarrhia (sp?) for any length of time they will be classed as urgent and seen within 2 weeks, if not then the wait may be 4 weeks, obviously it may depend on which area one lives. Everyone over 60 is automatically sent a screening test pack for bowel cancer and this is very easy to do at home.

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Thanks for the info and support, I am seeing the specialist tomorrow and will discuss transport and (lack of) aftercare.

I have done some rough jobs in my time but harvesting mushrooms from someones rear hallway does not sound an attractive career [;-)]

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Here in the UK I went to the GP with a niggling worry in September. She reassured me that it was probably nothing, but made an appointment to see a consultant - which was within a month, I think. He decided on a colonoscopy, which I had about a month later. (I am sure all this would have been speeded up more if there had seemed to be a serious problem afoot.)

I had written instructions on what to eat - or not to eat - for the 3 days preceding, plus two packages of laxative stuff to take on the day preceding the colonoscopy. My God! As idun says - when you gotta go you gotta GO!! So my insides were as clean as the proverbial whistle on the day.

Here they don't knock you out for the procedure, just send you a bit woozy. I was a bit apprehensive, but honestly it was a doddle - helped by the fact that they arranged things so that you could see the image on the screen as the surgeon's camera etc cruised along my intestines and whipped out a tiny polyp. Sounds gruesome, but it was fascinating...

They were insistent, from the initial appointment, that someone pick me up after the procedure, even though I had had only the wooziness and not full knock-out. I think they would not have let me go out without seeing someone turn up to escort me. They stressed NO driving and NO public transport. They specified that someone had to be with me for 24 hours. In the event, I was perfectly fine, and even cooked the supper for my daughter and me that same evening, and dismissed her the next morning for her to go off to work. But some people might take a funny turn, so I suppose they have to cover themselves. If you really cannot fulfill these criteria, I suppose they might insist on keeping you in overnight - well, maybe not here in the UK, but possibly in France - and charge you for it.

So Chancer, I really think you have to find a kind soul who might owe you a favour and who would undertake the chauffeuring at least. For the good of everyone else on the road, never mind yourself, you really ought not to drive after a general anaesthetic. Maybe you could not make them hang around for 24 whole hours if you were manifestly OK once back home, as long as you could whistle them up on the phone quickly if needed.



I am sure somebody has posted this link already to the "Song of the Colo-Rectal surgeon"

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[quote user="idun"]

Everyone over 60 is automatically sent a screening test pack for bowel cancer and this is very easy to do at home.


Tisn't easy to do at home. Would that it were.


I beg to differ, I have done this test at home twice and while it is not the most exciting activity in the world I would not say it was difficult. Whoever designed the little kit they send has done it well.

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I will sort something out with the specialist tomorrow, there are hundreds of people that owe me favors but only one kind soul around here and it sounds like he should not be driving!

Maybe we can do the procedure without anaesthetic or a local one only, I am a very good patient, can cope well with pain without tensing up and can calm and prepare myself mentally for most things.

I only wish I were able to pass on the skills to others, my nephew would still be alive now if I could [:(], I know what the poor kid was going through though as I was exactly the same in my younger years.

Brave though I may sound I dont want to listen to the song, how weird is that!!

In any case it sounds like I will be OK at home afterwards if I have a phone to hand, doesnt sound like a lot of fun for the couple of days before though, do you really have to go nil by mouth for 48 hours? That will sure will be a test of willpower.

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Cendrillon, I gathered that you found it easy, but just because it was for you, does not mean that it is for me, as it is not. So you can tell me a zillion times it's easy, but it won't make it 'easy' for me. And I cannot be the only one to have problems.

Chancer, I'm glad to hear that you are going to discuss your travel and home arrangements with the Dr tomorrow.


Do french hospitals do groggy sedation? I wasn't offered any and was told there was nothing; other than being put out completely.

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idun, I'm with Cendrillon; I have had that over-60s test thing to do a few times, and found it fairly easy. It's a very neat arrangement.

Chancer, I don't know how it is in France, but for the op on a Wednesday here, I had to spend Sun and Mon at home eating what seemed an "unhealthy" roughage-free diet of no fruit, or salad or veg (except mashed potato I think); only chicken or fish allowed; no wholesome cereals or wholemeal bread; I think I was permitted CornFlakes with milk.

On the Tuesday (day before op) I was allowed only clear fluids: coffee and tea with no milk; clear broth, such as chicken noodle soup that was sieved to remove anything interesting; and clear fruit jelly (but for some reason NOT red jelly!). And because of having to take the laxative that day, I had to drink lashings of water. Do not stray far from the loo that day, especially in the hour following taking the laxative! Funnily enough, I didn't seem to feel very hungry, which surprised me.

On the day itself, I was allowed only the odd sip of water before going into hospital.

I have to say that I felt no pain at all, during or after. So hopefully it will be the same for you.

Bon courage. You are doing the right thing!


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Sorry Chancer I forgot an essential bit of information.

In the old days (12 years ago) I had this procedure without anaesthetic and walked home, and then again 7 years ago with anaesthetic and walked home again, but the last 2 times I was collected (though not cared for) by an English bloke I used to have a drink with sometimes.

The point is that the last time he had to sign a paper to say he was taking responsibility for me, and they made it clear that they wouldn't let me leave unless it was into someone's care.

He wasn't very chuffed to be put on the spot but with a quick chat I persuaded him to sign and he took me home, where he left me.

I have detected a definite tightening up in the attitude and rules on this, and you may be obliged to find someone.

There is information on what you can eat for  the three or four days before


and a NHS booklet here


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Oooh, yes I'd forgotten that bit, Cendrillon!

And as Norman says, the person collecting me did have to sign to say they were taking responsibility for me.

All this precaution about having somebody with you is presuably in case of internal bleeding later on - which obviously would be serious and would warrant being whizzed back to hospital.


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I had a consultation today with the specialist who will be carrying out the procedure, he seemed to know of my situation perhaps having discussed it with my médécin and suggested that I stay the night in the clinique and be released the next day, that way I can drive there and back and wont need to bother anyone.

He like my doctor seemed to think it would be 100% prise en charge and was surprised when I showed him the stuff from Ameli, he readily admitted that he does not get involved with the administration and I dont think that he had ever come across someone without a mutuelle and who has to pay 100% up front hence no-one has ever asked him about costs before.

The good news is that he is conventionné so no nasty surprise there, I have paid for 2 consultations so far and have another one yet with the anaesthetist, there will also be a blood test to be done, the prescription for the flushing compound, the surgical act(s) the anaesthetic and the forfait journalier, I have a reasonable idea of the costs of most of these, probably about €400, have I missed anything?

The diet is for the 3 days before the examination and will be a shock to my system as I get plenty maybe too much roughage at present, I will probably ask some questions nearer the time on that subject.

What I would like some detail on, and its a delicate subject for sure is the time when I will need my running shoes!!

Is it just a case of running to the toilet to evacuate or is it debilitating and dehydrating like having gastro? Specifically are things going to become unpleasant due to passing acidity? I am trying to choose my words!

I notice that there are 4 litres of the Radflush to be taken, 2 litres the night before and 2 more first thing the following morning, is this going to cause me a problem during the journey to the hospital? it will be close to a one hour drive leaving at 11am.

They have given me a bon de transport which I was not going to use as I would have to pay 30% I believe, but dependant on the answer to my last question it may be a good investment!

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That destop stuff, well, I wouldn't want an hour's drive after I have taken it.

Truth is that I bought some adult pampers for my shorter journey just in case. As it happened I justmade it to the hospital without having an accident. And I wore one on the way home too, just in case. Put a big coat on to cover the bulk, but basically I prefered to wear one instead of having an accident and I didn't fancy having to clean the car.

And before my test they had me on a no fruit or fibre diet for 5 or 6 months. I was quite ill on that diet and asked my GP if I was getting scorbut, which he thought was rather amusing. And the specialist, well, in spite of her giving me the paperwork with my special diet clearly indicated, with lots of things proscribed and that in early February.......so in summer, she said 'ah non madame, trois jours seulement' and then she told me I'd be ill on that diet. I was speechless.

If you decide to drive, maybe put some plastic sheets and old towels on your car seats if you decide to drive or wear pampers, or both.





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Glad to hear about the staying-in option, Chancer.  That sounds reassuring.

Yuk! 4 litres of the drinky stuff!   Mine was just a glassfulx2 here in London, both taken on the day before the op.

As described in my post above, it's then just a question of getting to the loo quickly whenever you need to go - in my case particularly within the first hour of taking the laxative. Then things would gradually slow down to near-normal - by which time it was the moment to take the second dose and start all over again!

I didn't feel particuarly dehydrated, nor have any griping pain at all, nor burning - but they stressed here that it's very important to drink lots of water that day particularly.

I would say it depends on the time interval between taking it on the morning of the op, and the timing of the op itself.  If your op slot is in the afternoon, and you had swigged the stuff at 7.30am, then you should be just about OK for a 1-hr drive. (Maybe put a folded towel on the car seat, though!)  EDIT:  Great minds... idun! 

I suppose if you are worried about timing, and your op is for a morning slot, there would be nothing against your following the schedule that Cendrillon and I had in the UK and drinking both lots of the laxative during the day before your op, early and later.  As long as you stick to the "clear fluids only" bit thereafter. Obviously the essential thing is for your gut to be totally empty by the time the surgeon pops his camera down(?up) there. 

I wouldn't have one too close to bedtime though!  

How soon will you be going in, do you know?   It will be good when this is behind you.  (No pun intended!)


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