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Colonoscopy Complications

What is the risk of bowel damage from over inflation during a colonoscopy? How can this occur?
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Avatar universal
Thanks Emily.

I'm not exactly sure what happened, that's what I've been trying to find out. I've had four colonoscopies, and the first three were fine, but the last was very painful, both during and for months after. I could hear the Dr pumping air for what seemed like a very long time, and I've subsequently been told that my bowel was overinflated. I have also been told that I have 'multiple diverticula' which I can now feel, but there were no symptoms right up to getting on the table for the scope, and none found on the previous scopes. Can over inflation cause diverticula as opposed to outright perforation?

Recently I've been getting a lot of new pain, and I'm not sure whether this too is the diverticula or something else, and I don't feel I can expect an honest answer asking the health service that caused all this in the first place. Part of the investigation into this new pain is to be a cystoscopy, but I'm reluctant to consent to it in view of what happened previously.
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707563 tn?1626361905
The most common complication of a colonoscopy is perforation, which usually happens when the colon wall is thin.

https://www.e-ce.org/journal/view.php?number=7228

The risk goes up for age, co-morbidities (other medical conditions), being female, etc.

Why is this a concern for you?
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2 Comments
Because my bowel was damaged by over inflation in Jan 2019, and after a year or more of searching, I've not been able to find any evidence that this ever happens by accident. On the contrary, I'm told that it never happens, and can't happen. To my knowledge, there are no stats on the incidence of this, nor is it among the potential complications listed on the information sheet provided prior to consent.
It can happen. It just seems to result in perforation, most often. Is that what happened to you?  

https://www.post-gazette.com/business/legal/2011/10/24/Colonoscopy-lawsuit-results-in-2-million-award/stories/201110240165

http://www.e-fjs.org/article.asp?issn=1682-606X;year=2017;volume=50;issue=6;spage=195;epage=199;aulast=Chen

https://www.consultant360.com/articles/colonoscopy-guide-endoscopic-screening-and-therapy - this says perforation from over-inflation is rare with modern equipment, which fits with what I'm finding. Most articles about over-inflation and perforation are from the 1980s.

I can't find any other injury as a result of over-inflation than perforation.

You don't say what happened, so if it wasn't perforation, maybe your injury was caused by something other than over-inflation?

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