Risk of Injury from Colonoscopy

James D. Lewis
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

Share article


Question
Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
I am having a colonoscopy, but I am very concerned that I might end up with a hole in my colon. How common is it for an accident to happen?


Answer
James D. Lewis, MD, MSCE, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Senior Scholar at the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Senior Fellow in the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, responds:

Perforation of the colon from colonoscopy is a rare complication. It is estimated that colonoscopy results in perforation in 0.2% to 0.4% of cases, or 2 to 4 per 1000 procedures. Likewise it is estimated that colonoscopy results in death in 0.006% of cases, or 6 per 100,000 procedures.




I Wish You Knew

How cancer patients have changed my life

View More



Blogs and Web Chats

OncoLink Blogs give our readers a chance to react to and comment on key cancer news topics and provides a forum for OncoLink Experts and readers to share opinions and learn from each other.




OncoLink OncoPilot

Facing a new cancer diagnosis or changing the course of your current treatment? Let our cancer nurses help you through!

Learn More