Journal article

Towards safer colonoscopy: a report on the complications of 5000 diagnostic or therapeutic colonoscopies.

FA Macrae, KG Tan, CB Williams

Gut | Published : 1983


The diagnostic and therapeutic benefits of colonoscopy are well known but most large-scale surveys, especially those involving multiple centres, may underestimate the range and incidence of complications. The detailed records of 5000 colonoscopies in a specialist unit have been analysed and conclusions drawn which may help to make the procedure safer. The incidence of haemorrhage was 1% and bowel perforation 0.1%. All the major haemorrhages occurred during polypectomies over 2 cm in size. Secondary haemorrhage was an unpredictable occurrence, one to 14 days later. Three deaths followed colonoscopy: one cardiorespiratory death was related to oversedation; a second was due to mismanaged ischae..

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