Colonoscopy Complications Uncommon
Study: 1 in 200 Colonoscopies End in Hospitalization
Dec. 18, 2006 -- Complications that put patients in the hospital occur after
1 in 200 colonoscopies with biopsy or polyp removal, a CDC-funded study
When there's no biopsy or polyp removal, these serious complications
occurred in only 1 in 1,000 colonoscopies. With biopsy or polyp removal, 7 in
1,000 patients were hospitalized for colonoscopy complications.
The study, from Kaiser Permanente researcher Theodore R. Levin, MD, and
colleagues looked at records for more than 16,000 patients who underwent
colonoscopies. There were 82 serious complications.
However, very few of these patients were getting colonoscopies as their
initial colon cancer screening test. Levin and colleagues warn
that the colonoscopy complication rate they found may not apply to patients who
get screening colonoscopies.
Even so, the researchers warn that colonoscopy seems to carry a higher
complication rate than other colon-cancer screening tests.
They also warn that delayed bleeding after colonoscopy is not uncommon --
even when only small, benign polyps are removed.
The findings appear in the Dec. 19 issue of Annals of Internal