Risk of Colonoscopic Screening

german translation / full article

Heinz Harald Abholz

Keywords: coloscopy screening complication rates


A patient, 60 years of age, asks about the risk of a colonoscopy screening.


Serious side effects such as death, bowel perforation or major bleeding (making necessary a hospital stay) have the following rates: death 0,1/1000 investigations; perforation 1/1000; serious bleeding 2/1000. Serious complications are associated in 60–85 % with polypectomy. But this will happen in around half of all screening colonoscopies. These side effects have to be seen in comparison with the positive effect of the screening, the reduction in cancer mortality and morbidity of 2/1000 respectively 6/1000 people taking part in screening and a 10 years period.

(State: 16.05.2017)

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