Bowel perforation, or a hole in the colon, is one of the complications of colonoscopy. Different reported rates of perforation have been confusing.
A pooled analysis of published studies of perforation rates was reported during a Digestive Disease Week session on May 31. Including 17 different studies covering more than a quarter million colonoscopies, the perforation rate for therapeutic colonoscopy was 1 in 1,500 exams. In purely screening or diagnostic tests, perforations occured in only 1 in 6,000 tests. Perforation risk is about three times higher when polyps are removed during the colonoscopy.
Analysis showed a trend toward decreasing rates of perforations over time. Read the rest of this entry »