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Colonoscopies Colonoscopies

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Unread 04-21-2003, 08:23 AM
why not hospital!!

This is not my personal experience, but I was told by several people that I work with and friends that to have your colonoscopy done at a local colonoscopy center or gastro center is far more comfortable for most people as you are not as rushed and get the full one-on-one treatment. In a hospital (if you remember prior to your surgeries), while caring etc, they do not have the time to devote just to you, so unless you are a risk, it is far easier for you to have it done at an out patient center.

As to why my gastro made me so squealy clean, I have a history of colon polyps in both my parents as well as some history of parental diverticulitis and my mom had some cancerous polyps. When I had a really bad bowel problem and we were testing negative for everything else, she wanted to be sure that she could see in every nook and crany for any problem. It wound up being a bacterial infection that was missing the screening, but she got a really good look. I even had an endoscopy, just to rule out anything else.

Due to my family history, I have to return every 5 years. I know her method is rather harsh, but I think it is partly because her own family history is similar to mine. BTW, she is considered one of the best gastros in my area. At least, we know she is thorough.
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Unread 04-21-2003, 09:21 AM

Thanks for your reply. Our hospital has its own separate endoscopy unit and most of the scopes done there are outpatient scopes rather than inpatient scopes and the staff's only duties are the scope procedures care. There is a one-on-one team for each patient. Obviously, as in so many things, it depends on the policies of the individual hospitals.

As you say, better safe than sorry, although based on my videos and watching the monitor, the cleansing preps I've used as recommended by my gastro, who is slick as snot on a doorknob with her scopes, my colon has been squeaky clean with absolutely nothing to impair the scopes vision or visual field.

Also, I just recently found out that our hospitals and imaging centers generally destroy your radiology films after 5 years. The head of our imaging department recommends to her family and friends with chronic conditions that they "buy" a copy of their films related to the chronic condition. Our hospital charges $5 per film sheet and it is only necessary to buy those films that show the chronic condition(s). Once the 5 year limit arrives you can request the films themselves rather than purchase them but you take the risk that you may think of it too late, after the films have already been destroyed. It is something to think about.
Unread 04-22-2003, 08:21 AM

Dear Chronie,
Isn't it too bad that we, as patients find out that they destroy films after a given time limit. I would think that you should be informed about this at the time of your scope.

Fortunately, my gastro has her office as a part of the gastro center where the films are stored and scopes performed. They felt that in so doing they will have the best possible tracking for their patients for as long as possible. She showed me 2 x 2 inch photos that she took and made a part of my records, so she will have the previous records available for anyone who might need them.

I know her prep was harsh (believe me), but I am hopeful (gotta keep positive) that she will lessen its intensity for the next one. I can only hope, right??!!

Fortunately, my scopes, both upper and lower, have been clear and I had only a very resistant bacteria that caused my problem. I had all the indications of Crohn's, but missed it by a hair. But, I know know the benefit of the colonoscopy far outweighs any discomfort in its prep.
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Unread 04-22-2003, 03:33 PM

Well, I sure won't argue with you about the value of a colonoscopy! And wish you luck on easier preps in the future just to make things a "little" more "pleasant (?). Somehow "pleasant" just doesn't seem the right word, does it?

The pics from a colonoscopy are a lot smaller and easier to store for long periods of time versus the size and weight of a bunch of radiology films, as say from the barium series, etc. I can understand the storage problem but for years, and even now, they make it so difficult or give you such a hassle about getting a copy of your own medical records while allowing access to them to so many others .... it really torques my jaws! Anything other than a "no problem, please sign the release form at the X" is guaranteed to get my hackles up.

I can remember the days when, heaven forbid you should know what your temp or BP or pulse was!!! And if you were caught taking a peek thru your hospital chart on the wall outside your room .... whew! All heck broke loose! I took my chart down and was reading it years ago and the nurse nearly had a heart attack, grabbed the chart, said YOU can't see that and for the rest of my hospitalization my chart was kept down to the nurse's desk. Things have changed somewhat, some hospitals are real good about giving you a copy of your procedure report for your personal records .... others are a real PITA.

Anyway, I fail to see why the hospitals shouldn't be REQUIRED to notify the patient and give the patient the option to come in and pick up any films or records that are going to be destroyed.

Matter of fact, on one of my initial visits to a well known teaching hospita not within the last few years my doctor there told me NOT to return the radiology films I'd brought with me from my local hospital, that the hospital would be destroying them. Now, at least in MI, that is not exactly legal. Our law says that the generating institution or doctor OWNS the records, BUT the patient has a legal righ to a COPY.

The tricky thing is: you WANT them there at the generating facility so that if you run into a similar problem they have the previous films for comparison. But how are "we" supposed to keep track of when that facility is going to "purge" them???

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