A COLONOSCOPY ISN'T AS RISKY AS YOU MAY THINK
The risks of a colonoscopy are scary—but often less than the risk of driving to the colonoscopy. That's not what you'd think but it's true. When you drive to the doctor's office for a colonoscopy, you may be about as likely to have an accident as during the procedure itself. That of course depends on a whole host of factors: how fast you drive, how far you're driving, and how old you are. That also depends on where you live, whether it's rush hour and the road conditions).
You may not think about those risks because you don't have to sign a consent form before you turn on the ignition. But the nurse makes you sign one before the colonoscopy and the doctor may have you sign another, making you very aware of the risks of the procedure and the sedation.
What Are the Risks of a Colonoscopy?
While the risks are low, they do exist
- Dehydration with vomiting and/or fluid loss during the preparation or after the procedure
- Low blood pressure or low oxygen levels from the sedation
- A reaction to the sedation
- A small tear in the intestine (perforation)
- Colonoscopies are important procedures that help guide IBD treatment
- Colonoscopies carry a risk, not unlike the risk of driving to the procedure
This article, as well as all others, was reviewed and edited by a member of our Medical Advisory Board.
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