I recently had a colonoscopy and was told the results were incomplete because I have an extremely long colon and the standarized scope length only goes so far. I was told in a couple of months to have a barium enema to complete the procedure. Has anyone ever heard of this complication?
This doesn't make any sense to me!! What will a barium enema provide them? Was the problem that you colon is long or that you had something blocking the way? How long are they waiting to try this again?
redundant or extended lengths of colon aren't all that unusual. the scopes are only about 6 feet long because that is the length of the "average" colon. this isn't going to sound nice, but with a barium enema, they can keep adding contrast until the entire colon is visualized on the xray. I think it would depend on the reason for the scope as to whether or not I would get the BE. talk to the doc and ask him what further information he is looking to get from the BE. then you'll need to weigh the possible benefits against the inconvenience and discomfort of having the BE done.
Thanks so much for responding so quickly. The reason for the colonoscopy was my recent bout with breast cancer and my mother's colon cancer 20+ years ago. My mother is 83, a cancer survivor, who needed no further treatment other than surgery. The last 10 months of my life have been surgery, chemo and radiation. To me, the colonosopy was a snap - the prep didn't even bother me. My doctor said what he saw looked normal - clear with no polops. But because of my history, he wants to make sure and do a though job. I just can't deal with any further procedures right now. My mother and sister both have a "normal length colon" - I guess I just haven't been very lucky lately.
sorry to hear you've had to go thru all of this. I can understand your doc wanting to be thorough. why not ask him how specific a BE is to finding polyps (eg do they show up well with a BE). and if you had it done, what would he want to do if something looked suspicious. I know how hard it is to hear that nasty phrase "well, I think you should have _____ done to check things out". it sounds like since he didn't see any evidence of anything, that he isn't expecting anything to show up and he doesn't feel you need it done immediately. why not put it on your calendar for March and make your decision then? you might be a little less "procedured out" then.
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