Tuesday, March 20, 2007

New Innovations in Colonoscopy


Colonoscopy, the screening scope test that looks for polyps and cancers in the large bowel, may be replaced with new methods for diagnosing colon cancer. We've all been waiting for a new technology that will eliminate the awful cleansing prep the day before, the IV sedation and the hassle of spending an entire day undergoing an expensive screening test for colon cancer.
Yes, screening colonoscopy is a great way to find polyps and growths before they become invasive cancer. Yes, it is relatively safe and effective but, jeeze, what a hassle. And for a screening test, it is quite expensive, therefore millions of uninsured and underinsured people just don't get screened at all.

On the horizon is virtual colonoscopy, a high-resolution CT scan with a software program that allows you to recreate or simulate the colon. This computer-aided diagnosis will shorten the time frame and allow more screenings to be done. Currently you can get a virtual test but the prep remains the same. Soon "prepless" CT scans will eliminate the need to cleanse the colon and most patients will embrace this. Another promising alternative that is being developed is the PillCam which is a capsule with cameras that are inserted or swallowed and project images as the pill passes through the bowel. We currently have endoscopy capsule technology that images the small bowel and the new pill would have double cameras that cover twice as much area as most of the small bowel capsules. We have a way to go with this technology but given its simplicity and the rate of innovation, this may be the wave of the future.

At this point, good old fashioned scope colonoscopy remains the gold standard and in a person with no risk factors (family history of colon cancer, crohns disease or unusual bleeding), screening should begin at age 50 and every 10 years thereafter. If you are 50, go ahead and get that colonoscopy. If all goes well, with the current rate of new technology being developed, it may be the last one you need to get.

6 comments:

Sheryle Cowan said...

As the mother of a 30 year old daughter who has Cutis Laxa with mild intellectual disability and who has recently developed mild to moderate Crohns, I am delighted to hear that there are going to be easier ways of having a colonoscopy. Any stay in hospital takes her so far out of her comfort zone she really so very unhappy. Yay for new innovation and helping to make a mothers life easier. Here in Australia as a person with a disability our government will cover the cost along with private health insurance so we dont have to worry. Best regards

Pillcam said...

Through a recent study, it has been found that a miniscule video camera implanted inside a pill could spot unusual growths in the colon or rectal region, but not as accurate as colonoscopy does. A scientist have stated that pillcam colon was safe, and can visualise the colon. If its really effective, then one can go for it.

viagra online pharmacy said...

I'm a doctor, and you should know, the day before the colonoscopy, the patient is either given a laxative preparation (such as Bisacodyl, phospho soda, sodium picosulfate) and large quantities of fluid, or whole bowel irrigation is performed using a solution. It's an important point and you should write about it. 23jj

viagra online said...

During the procedure the patient is often given sedation intravenously, employing agents such as fentanyl or midazolam. I think that it is really cool to know!!22dd

generic cialis said...

It's a test that many men in the world try to avoid. I think it's good to do it because that way you are secure and safe. It's always better to prevent!

www.muebles-en-navarra.com said...

So, I do not really think this will work.