Colonoscopy Procedures- Risks and Dangers Involved

Published: 18th August 2009
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Dangers And Risks of Colonoscopy Procedures

"What if you had to worry about giving your wife AIDS?" asked Wayne Craig, a 52-year-old U.S. Navy veteran who lives near Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He is among the more than 10,000 veterans who were told they may need hepatitis treatment following their routine colonoscopy, which they received five years ago. So far, 53 individuals have found that they are now worse off than they were before. The veterans received letters telling them of improper hospital procedures from faulty staff training, which may have put them at risk of having hepatitis C, hepatitis B or HIV. While this represents just one class action lawsuit, it underscores the potential risks of colonoscopy screenings.

Occasionally, there are more severe risks of colonoscopy procedures. Sometimes excessive bleeding occurs if larger colon polyps are removed. There is a 30 to 50% chance that bleeding will occur for the 2 to 7 days following colon polyp removal. In rare cases, the colon lining may be torn, requiring hospitalization or surgery. Another risk is radiation exposure from the CT scan machine used during a virtual colonoscopy, where the 5 MsV rays are said to be 2,000 to 3,000 times' more potent than a dental x-ray and 2 to 3 times' more toxic than radiation exposure from a dirty bomb (3 MsV).

In a 2005-2006 study, 110 patients in Chapel Hill, North Carolina were asked about the side effects from their colonoscopy procedures. Of the 110, 17% of the patients reported side effects from their screening colonoscopy process, which included abdominal pain, cramping, vomiting, lightheadedness, sharp pains in the right hip and fatigue. On average, people spent 21 hours prepping for the procedure, which involved 16.5 hours flushing their system, 0.8 hours traveling, 1.4 hours in the waiting room, 12 minutes undergoing sedation, 20 minutes for their colonoscopy procedure and 47 minutes of on-site recovery.

Because a colonoscopy is the golden standard of colon cancer prevention and there is a nation-wide drive to get more people screened for early detection, it is difficult to get an accurate figure on the risk of colonoscopy complications. According to 'The Annals Of Internal Medicine,' the rate of serious complications from the procedure is "10 times higher than for any other commonly used cancer-screening test." In 2006, a CDC-funded study found that 1 in 200 people who had a procedure that involved cancer removal put them in the hospital. In routine procedures where no colon polyps were removed, just 1/1,000 had a serious complication, while patients getting biopsies had 7/1,000 colonoscopy complications like bleeding or perforations.

Suzanne has researched extensively on topics related to health in particular with Colon and related issues. To receive your free trial offer and/or find out more on Colon Clease articles and news visit the Colon Clease website.

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