Dr. Weeks’ Comment: Part of being an informed patient is knowing whether your doctor is using modern enough tools. Now we learn that not all colonoscopy units are created equal and therefore, if you are planning to subject your lower half to no one’s favorite procedure, it is worth asking your doctor whether or not he/she is using the high-resolution device!
If something is worth doing, it is worth doing right the first time!
High-definition Colonoscopy Detects More Polyps, Researchers Say
ScienceDaily (Oct. 31, 2009) — High-definition (HD) colonoscopy is much more sensitive than standard colonoscopy in finding polyps that could morph into cancer, say researchers at the Mayo Clinic campus in Florida.
“There hasn’t been a definitive trial to see whether high-definition colonoscopy detects more polyps or not, and this was a natural experiment, designed to ask if use of one endoscope or another makes a difference in day-to-day clinical practice,” says the study’s senior investigator, gastroenterologist Michael Wallace, M.D., a professor of medicine at the College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic.
An endoscope is the lighted tube inserted into the colon and rectum to look for, and remove, polyps. A high-definition endoscope uses both a high-definition video chip and HD monitors (like HD television) that increase the resolution of the image, Dr. Wallace says.