Blog

5 Serious Colonoscopy Complications You Should Be Aware Of

Posted by:

5 Serious Colonoscopy Complications You Should Be Aware Of

Colonoscopy is a relatively safe procedure performed in diagnostic clinics or at the hospital’s outpatient department. It is very important in detecting diseases related to gastrointestinal infection, abdominal pain, abnormal bowel movement or abnormal polyp growth in the large intestine.

While this check up may be a walk in the park for some individuals, other people who have existing intestinal problems or hernia may experience serious colonoscopy complication because their colons are either too weak or too sensitive that it ruptures upon contact with the probe. Other people, on the other hand, can have a negative reaction towards anesthesia or sedative drugs. Below are some of the risks associated with colonoscopy:

Splenic Injury

This type of colonoscopy complication is very rare however it is important not to overlook its causes to avoid future injuries in the spleen. Experts believe that the main cause of the complication is when the patient assumes a supine position during colonoscopy. Chances of experiencing tears in the spleen are increased if one has previous surgery in the abdomen or is currently suffering from a bowel disease. To avoid this type of colonoscopy complication, doctors should evaluate high risk patient to determine if it safe to for them to assume a lateral position during examination. The common symptoms of this colonoscopy complication are abdominal pain, hypertension and fever a day after colonoscopy so it is best to go to the doctor for a thorough check up.

Bleeding

Bleeding is one of the more common risks patients face when undergoing colonoscopy. This is because when doctors perform Polypectomy, a type of biopsy, the vessels are sometimes severed and this result to bleeding. Polypectomy is an important procedure as it removes polyps in the colon wall to prevent the growth of tumors that may cause cancer. The bleeding usually occurs on the area where biopsy was conducted. Patients can experience colonoscopy complication days after the procedure and symptoms include dizziness and blood in stool. For treatment, doctors use cauterization technique stump off the blood vessels. The heat during this process severs and closes of the vessels preventing further bleeding. For extreme cases blood transfusion may be required.

Incarcerated hernia

People who have inguinal hernia should consider hernia repair to avoid colonoscopy complication. During colonoscopy, the colon is filled with gas by the colonoscope to enhance the image of the colon’s interior. This action can cause obstruction of the large hernias located in the intestine and surgery is required to facilitate normal colon functioning. One of the ways to prevent this colonoscopy complication is to defer the examination until the large hernia is removed or shrunk.

Pneumomediastinum

Our mediastinum is located in the thorax and it is composed of a variety of organs including the heart, esophagus and lymph nodes, all of which are housed by the thoracic cavity. Colonoscopy complication arises when the procedure causes the bowel to rupture allowing the air in the abdominal cavity to gradually build up in the chest. This air leakage can lead to extreme pain or difficulty in breathing. Pneumomediastinum can be cured by breathing large amounts of oxygen so the air leakage will be re-absorbed by the organs in the cavity. Surgery, however, is required to repair the rupture bowel.

Adverse reaction to sedatives

If you can tolerate the discomfort during colonoscopy, it would be best to avoid the use of sedatives. These drugs make the procedure more expensive and it increases the risks and complications. Sedatives also defer the patients’ ability to regain their normal function.  Drugs containing narcotics may cause problems in breathing so patients are often administered with Profol. It is considered as one of the “safer” sedatives however the patient’s heart rate and pulse must still be monitored in case he develops some kind of allergic reaction.

What You Can Do

There are several things that you can do to avoid colonoscopy complication and make your visit to the doctor a pleasant experience.

  1. Empty your colon using laxatives or bowel cleansing juices that are prescribed by your doctor. An empty colon gives a clearer visual during colonoscopy. Make sure that you drink a lot of water before the procedure to prevent dehydration.
  2. Ask your doctor if you should stop taking certain supplements and medication while you fast. Insulin and anti-inflammatory drugs, for example should be discontinued prior to colonoscopy.
  3. Go to a qualified doctor or medical specialist and have your colonoscopy in a hospital or near a hospital. This will enable you to get proper medical treatment if the procedure does not go well.

Comments

0


# #