What are possible limitations of colonoscopy in the evaluation of lower gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding LGIB)?

Updated: Jul 26, 2019
  • Author: Burt Cagir, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

The disadvantages of colonoscopy include the following: (1) Urgent or emergent colonoscopy must be performed by skilled endoscopists; (2) urgent colonoscopy requires a bowel preparation that can cause a 4– to 6–hour delay; (3) emergent unprepared hydroflush colonoscopy requires several 1 L of tap water enemas and a 1-hour delay; (4) a perforation during the examination is possible, particularly in a patient who is ill; (5) colonoscopy carries the risks of sedation for patients who are acutely bleeding; and (6) technical problems can make diagnosis and treatment more difficult.


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