Low complication rates after screening colonoscopy

June 14, 2017

COLOGNE. During colonoscopy screening for bowel cancer and in the four weeks after the procedure, the risk for complications to develop is low. This is the finding of a prospective cohort study conducted in the Saarland region, whose results Nadine Zwink and coauthors report in the current issue of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International (Dtsch Aerztebl Int 2017; 114: 321-7).

Worldwide, bowel cancer is the most common cancer and the fourth most common cause of death in men and women. In Germany, colonoscopy screening as a service covered by the statutory health insurance schemes was introduced in October 2002. However, the associated routine documentation has registered only those complications that occurred immediately after the procedure (2.8/1000 colonoscopies). This may lead to an underestimation of the complications -- ie, perforations and bleeds/hemorrhages -- with delayed manifestation of symptoms.

In order to put a stop to the collection of such possibly unsatisfactory data, the authors from the German Cancer Research Center and from the Saarland cancer registry collected data in 26 practices of 5527 men (48%) and women (52%) who had undergone colonoscopy screening in 2010-13. They were asked to report on complications during and within 4 weeks after the colonoscopy at a follow-up examination, using a questionnaire. 5252 participants completed the questionnaire and were included in the study.

43 participants reported experiencing complications. However, only a small proportion of self-reported complications was confirmed medically; on the other hand, most of those affected were not aware of the bleeds/hemorrhages reported by their doctor. In total, 10 cases of bleeding/hemorrhage were confirmed by doctors, as were two cases of perforation during the colonoscopy, which in total equates to a medically confirmed complication rate of 20/5252=0.38%. Complications affected almost exclusively participants in whom neoplasms had been detected and removed.

For the authors, the study results showed that the complication rate is low, even when carefully considering a 4-week period after the colonoscopy. Especially in participants without colorectal neoplasms, who do not immediately benefit from colonoscopy screening, the rate of complications was found to be extremely low.

Deutsches Aerzteblatt International

Related Colonoscopy Articles from Brightsurf:

Using robotic assistance to make colonoscopy kinder and easier
Scientists have made a breakthrough in their work to develop semi-autonomous colonoscopy, using a robot to guide a medical device into the body.

Nearly 1 in 8 patients receive unexpected out-of-network bills after colonoscopy
Nearly 1 in 8 commercially insured patients nationwide who underwent an elective colonoscopy between 2012 and 2017 performed by an in-network provider received potential 'surprise' bills for out-of-network expenses, often totaling hundreds of dollars or more.

Swallowing this colonoscopy-like bacteria grabber could reveal secrets about your health
Your gut bacteria could say a lot about you, such as why you're diabetic or how you respond to certain drugs.

Examining association between older age, risk of complications after colonoscopy
This observational study looked at the risk of complications after an outpatient colonoscopy among patients age 75 and older compared to younger patients.

Bowel cancer rates after colonoscopy vary by provider
A colonoscopy is the main test used to detect bowel cancer, but like most tests, it is not always 100% accurate and cancers can be missed.

Will disposable colonoscopy devices replace reusables?
As a disposable version of the instrument used in one of the most common medical procedures in the United States inches closer to widespread availability, a team of Johns Hopkins data researchers is studying the economic and safety implications associated with the devices used to perform colonoscopies.

Sedation method does not affect colonoscopy detection rate
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States and colonoscopy is the most-used screening tool to detect it.

Blue dye tablet helps identify polyps during colonoscopy
Ingestion of a blue dye tablet during bowel prep for colonoscopy could be a significant advance in the early detection of colorectal cancer (CRC).

Low complication rates after screening colonoscopy
During colonoscopy screening for bowel cancer and in the four weeks after the procedure, the risk for complications to develop is low.

Patients with positive fecal screening test, sooner is better for colonoscopy
The risk of colorectal cancer increased significantly when colonoscopy was delayed by more than nine months following a positive fecal screening test, according to a large Kaiser Permanente study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Read More: Colonoscopy News and Colonoscopy Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.