Monday, July 26, 2010

Colonoscopy Procedure Complications

Colonoscopy Complications are a Reality.

The Center for Disease Control recommends that people over the age of fifty receive colorectal screening. This screening is comprised of several tests and very often includes a colonoscopy. Colonoscopies are very safe medical procedures; however, it is important to understand possible colonoscopy procedure complications. Before the test, patients are required to take a laxative to prepare their system for the colonoscopy. Although rare, colonoscopy procedure complications can occur due to these medications including kidney failure and long term kidney damage. Colonoscopies require a full day at the doctor’s office and patient sedation. Some colonoscopy procedure complications arise from the sedatives used during the procedure.

The complications from sedatives can include allergic reactions, vomiting, low blood pressure, confusion and respiratory problems. If the patient is in poor health, sedation carries a risk of cardiac arrest, stroke and death. colonoscopy procedure complications such as bleeding can result directly from the screening. If a polyp is removed, bleeding may occur for up to a week. Bleeding may resolve on its own or require medical attention. Although very rare, the most serious colonoscopy procedure complications are bowel perforations. A perforation occurs with the instruments used to perform the colonoscopy pierce the bowel. Symptoms of bowel perforation may include chills, vomiting and fever. Depending on the size of the perforation, major surgery might be needed to close the tear. If the bowel is perforated, patients run the risk of sepsis and infection which can be fatal. Infection from equipment that has not been replaced or properly sterilized between patients can create further colonoscopy procedure complications.

After age fifty, colonoscopies are recommended every ten years up to age seventy five. Although very rare, colonoscopy procedure complications do occur. If your doctor recommends a colonoscopy, you should weigh the possibility of colonoscopy procedure complications versus other low risk colorectal screening options.

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