A recent study from Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Health Care published in Gastroenterology and featured on the US National Institutes of Health website suggests that when it comes to the colonoscopy procedure, slow and steady does indeed win the race.
Lead researchers evaluated nearly 77,000 screening colonoscopies to determine whether withdrawal times demonstrated a correlation to adenoma detection rates. These are widely used quality indicators for colonoscopy - a high adenoma detection rate signifies a successful colonoscopy.
Results showed a mean withdrawal time of 8.6 minutes and a mean detection rate of 25%. Longer withdrawal times were associated with higher detection rates, such that each additional minute could increase the detection rate by 3.6%.
The researchers ran an independent analysis of shorter withdrawal times compared with interval colon cancer rates, and found that shorter-duration procedures were associated with lower adenoma detection rates and an increased risk of developing colon cancer after the initial procedure.
The results demonstrate that longer-lasting colonoscopies are more effective in terms of adenoma detection, and provide better protection against the risk of interval colon cancer.
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