OBJECTIVES: Cecal intubation is one of the goals of colonoscopy. We sought to describe the methodology used by a single experienced examiner to perform colonoscopy in a consecutive group of patients with challenging colons. METHODS: Records of 42 consecutive patients with one or more prior unsuccessful attempts at colonoscopy by a gastroenterologist or surgeon and referred for a repeat attempt at colonoscopy were reviewed. RESULTS: Colonoscopy was complete to the cecum in 40 of the 42 patients (95%). An array of methods was employed, including propofol sedation (n = 2), pediatric colonoscope (n = 8), an external straightener (n = 9), external straightener with pediatric colonoscope (n = 2), upper endoscope (n = 8), guidewire exchange (n = 3), and enteroscope with a colon straightener (n = 1) or an enteroscope straightener (n = 1). CONCLUSIONS: A variety of methods and instruments were employed to achieve a high cecal intubation rate during colonoscopy in a group of patients with prior incomplete colonoscopies. Others may find one or more of these methods useful in patients with challenging colons.
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