Underwater colonoscopy more effective than air insufflation — 5 insights

A study presented at Digestive Disease Week 2017 examined the effectiveness of an underwater colonoscopy technique, Medscape reports.

UC Irvine Medical Center Anish Patel, MD, and colleagues used an underwater technique that allows physicians to detect more polyps than traditional air insufflation.

Here's what you should know.

1. Providers can routinely use the technique, which is most effective in higher risk patients.

2. Water 'floats' muscosa magnifying lesions makes detection easier, Dr. Patel said to Medscape.

3. According to several studies, underwater colonoscopy improves patient comfort.

4. Dr. Patel said the technique leaves patients "more comfortable and encourages them to continue to get appropriate screening."

5. Some physicians debate the need for such a method, citing the increased amount of time it takes. These physicians also argued the technique unnecessarily focuses on patient comfort, when a patient is already under sedation.

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