DOCTOR'S VIEW ARCHIVE
Colonoscopy With No Sedation
During colonoscopy, a flexible viewing tube is inserted through the rectum into the colon. This tube has channels through which instruments can be passed in order to perform biopsies, cauterize bleeding, or remove cancerous and benign polyps.
Traditionally, colonoscopy has only been performed with intravenous sedation. This sedation requires intensive monitoring, which can be expensive.
Because of advances in colonoscopy techniques, the procedure has become less painful and more tolerable.
In a study, published in the medical journal Diseases of the Colon and Rectum, (1997) Peter A. Cataldo, M.D. evaluated the comfort and satisfaction of 258 patients after nonsedated colonoscopies. 61% of the patients rated their pain as either "no pain" or "mild pain." 84% indicated that they would prefer their next colonoscopy without sedation. Of those who had previously undergone colonoscopy with sedation, 92% preferred the nonsedated procedure.
Dr. Cataldo concluded that colonoscopy, without the aid of sedation, is not only safe and effective, but also well accepted by a majority of patients. Eliminating sedation during colonoscopy in healthy patients may lead to increased patient satisfaction while reducing overall costs.
For related information, please visit the MedicineNet.com Colon Cancer Center.
Last Editorial Review: 7/19/2002