Medical-legal risks of incident cancers after clearing colonoscopy

Douglas Rex, John H. Bond, Andrew D. Feld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

82 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Colonoscopy and polypectomy effectively reduce the incidence and mortality of colorectal cancer, but some patients present with fully developed cancers within 1-4 yr of a colonoscopy that apparently cleared the colon of neoplasia. These events may result in medical-legal action against colonoscopists, generally based on an assumption of negligent technical performance of the procedure. Alternative explanations for the development of interval cancers include variable growth rates of colorectal cancers, the inherent miss rate of the procedure even when optimal examination techniques are used, and the possibility of flat lesions that are not readily detected by standard colonoscopic techniques. This paper discusses issues relevant to reduction of medical-legal risks associated with interval cancers after clearing colonoscopy. These issues include informed consent, documentation of cecal intubation, appropriate description of preparation, documentation of examination time and technique, and attention to potential atypical neoplasms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)952-957
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume96
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

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Colonoscopy
Neoplasms
Documentation
Colorectal Neoplasms
Informed Consent
Intubation
Colon
Mortality
Incidence
Growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

Cite this

Medical-legal risks of incident cancers after clearing colonoscopy. / Rex, Douglas; Bond, John H.; Feld, Andrew D.

In: American Journal of Gastroenterology, Vol. 96, No. 4, 2001, p. 952-957.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Rex, Douglas ; Bond, John H. ; Feld, Andrew D. / Medical-legal risks of incident cancers after clearing colonoscopy. In: American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2001 ; Vol. 96, No. 4. pp. 952-957.
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