Boston-area hospitals have monthslong wait for colonoscopies

Some of the Boston area's largest hospitals have monthslong waitlists for colonoscopies, TV station WFXT reported Dec. 8.

The gastroenterologists who perform colonoscopies at hospitals that serve the area, including  Massachusetts General Hospital, Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center and Newton-Wellesley Hospital, are booked months into 2023, according to the report. Patients at Brigham and Women's Hospital, meanwhile, cannot book a specific day for a procedure; they can only join a waitlist.

"Even though we are a couple of years out from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, that did put us behind the eight ball," Matthew Yurgelun, MD, a gastrointestinal oncologist at Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, told WFXT. "Colonoscopies were among the medical services, I think, that disappeared aside from emergency settings. And in a lot of ways, we are still catching up." 

There are often no early symptoms of colon cancer, and Dr. Yurgelun stressed to WFXT the importance of catching up on procedures so patients can get colon cancer screenings and preventive measures.

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