Colonoscopy can be one of the scariest tests for patients, on which several fake news circulate, according to the experts. An endoscopic test is essential for the early diagnosis and prevention of colon cancer, the second most common cause of death from malignant tumours in Italy and Western countries.
We talked about it with Prof. Alessandro Repici, Head of the Digestive Endoscopy Unit at Humanitas and Professor of Gastroenterology at Humanitas University.
“It is correct to clarify the subject of intestinal preparation about which fake news circulate: patients often ask us questions and expose doubts not corresponding to reality. If a correct intestinal preparation is not performed, the risk is that we will not see and identify polyps or small tumors, because they are covered by the feces, so our recommendation is that the preparation must be done well,” explained Prof. Repici.
Diet, drugs and pain: the fake news that circulate most among patients
Among the fake news circulating about the preparation there is one related to the diet, to be held the days before the colonoscopy: “there are those who ask for information on diets more or less fiber-free – said the professor – All studies tell us that the impact of diet in the effectiveness of the intestinal preparation is minimal, so we recommend a diet that is fiber-free only one or two days before the examination as well as to drink at least one and a half or two liters of water per day”.
“Another concern is of patients who take aspirin or cardio-aspirin: to them we can say that there is no need to suspend the drug, because with the exclusion of polyps that have a very high risk of bleeding or that are very large, the other polyps can be safely removed during colonoscopy even in those who take cardio-aspirin. This has been demonstrated in several clinical studies, some of which have been performed directly in Humanitas over the last 5 years.
“All the procedures of colonoscopy are performed with a sedation – reassured the professor – in other words with drugs that remove discomfort and pain: our goal is to perform a colonoscopy without pain and, if necessary, through the collaboration of an anesthetist”.