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Thursday, 5 July, 2007

Office colonoscopies more painful

Not only do office colonoscopies miss more cancers, as back in February, they also put patients through more discomfort than hospital-based procedures. That's the conclusion of a by Cancer Quality Council of Ontario's Dr Linda Rabeneck.

The new study, in the June issue of Gastroenterology, found that office colonoscopies are a shocking 3.5 times more likely to be stopped before they're completed, because of inadequate sedation.

Worried gastroenterologists have been over the trend toward office-based colonoscopies for years, fearing unqualified MDs are getting in on colon cancer screening to make a quick buck.

Dr Rabeneck's study bears out some of their fears. She pinpointed three reasons office colonoscopies have such poor outcomes:

  1. Standards for endoscope disinfection are poor
  2. Doctors needn't be credentialled as endoscopists to perform the procedures
  3. Office colonoscopies offer little or no sedation, which means they're sometimes abandoned due to patient discomfort.


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