612551 tn?1450022175

What are the risks from a colonoscopy?

I am only guessing, but I think I have undergone at least 7 or 8 colonoscopies, three in one year because of polyps that couldn't be completely removed in one surgery.  None were cancerous.

Because of a propensity to develop pulps since the age of about 60 I get a colonoscopy every two years.  I believe that is the maximum allowed by Medicare if you are of that age in the USA.  That said Medicare is every 5 years unless there is an indication of problems like regular polyps, and I think that might be more than enough for most of us.

So why my question?  I opened an email from on of the web "news" distributions (I can look up the name, forget at the moment), and it had a presentation on the dangers/risks of colonoscopy and called it a "rip off" by the medical community - I don't associate the source with anti-medicine..but I have seen other sales pitches that immediately turned me off ..they have to make a living too and clearly take what is paid advertisements, I believe.

My every-two year exam is coming up so I watched the presentation which raised minor concern.. so I come here to see if there is any general acceptance that a colonoscopy is over prescribed and has a high risk of injury with minimal help in preventing colon cancer.. my reason.  The National Cancer Society was quoted in the presentation as saying there is no evidence that colonoscopies reduces the risk of colon cancer - this I doubt but I have not gone looking beyond this post to date.  
Best Answer
1340994 tn?1374193977
Colon cancer rates have dropped significantly due to the effectiveness of colonoscopies.  This is one of the best tests we have because unless mammograms, it can actually prevent cancer.  

Don't you listen to these reports to the contrary.  You, with this history of multiple polyps, really do want to keep having them to stay ahead of the polyps.  
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612551 tn?1450022175
Yes, best and only answer..but I'm not running a poll.  

That said, I appreciate your confidence in the procedure.  As stated, I've had several and I prefer the fully out method, the relaxant works too.  I have never had any complications that I know of from the procedure and I have "used" the same medical specialist for each over a period of more than 20 years.  I have retired during this period but he is a few years younger and is still in practice  - and well past the stage of "practicing" : )

I read something in my crowded email inbox from a known source that takes on this type stuff for $$$ I will guess.  I am not on their mailing list for this - more for what's going at the political level.
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Avatar universal
Hi, there are specific guidelines provided for screening and repeat colonoscopies. This is based on scientific data collected over time. The risks would be due to the procedure like injury or due to sedation, but these are minimal. Another option is CT colonography which detects 90% adenomas greater or equal to ≥10 mm. As long as you do not have specific symptoms you should follow up with your doctor for colonoscopies. Good luck with your therapy & do take care. Regards.
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