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