Purpose of review: This review evaluates the most recent literature pertaining to variable stiffness colonoscopes in the context of previously published data. A total of 12 papers and abstracts were identified, 5 of which had appeared since April 2002, including 2 in abstract form. Recent findings: The data on the impact of variable stiffness colonoscopes has been mixed with regard to cecal intubation rate, cecal insertion time, need for ancillary maneuvers, and patient acceptance. The literature suggests that variable stiffness may improve cecal intubation times among inexperienced examiners and patient acceptance during unsedated or mildly sedated colonoscopy. The only consistent finding appears to be a reduction in the need for ancillary maneuvers. Summary: There is not yet any compelling evidence to support a dramatic improvement in technical performance of colonoscopy using variable stiffness colonoscopes.
- Variable stiffness
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