Most Premature Surveillance Colonoscopy Is Not Attributable to Bowel Preparation or New Clinical Indications

Vishal Desai, Daniel A. Sussman, Michael Greenspan, Sandeep Dayanand, Kevin Ollington, Sheena Patel, Hong Li, Joshua Melson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background and Aims: Surveillance colonoscopy frequently occurs prior to recommended intervals. Studies delineating the reasons why premature surveillance occurs are limited. We sought to define the frequency in which premature surveillance colonoscopy occurs in the setting of an inadequate bowel preparation or with a provided patient clinical indication versus when premature surveillance colonoscopy occurs without any provided discernible rationale in the setting of adequate bowel preparation. Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional cohort study of 700 patients undergoing colonoscopy for an indication of “surveillance of polyps” from 2008 to 2014 at two tertiary-care referral centers was carried out. Patients were deemed either “adherent” or “premature” based on US Multi-Society Task Force guideline intervals for surveillance colonoscopy. A documented decision-making rationale for premature surveillance was determined through review of the electronic medical record with assessment of clinical notes and endoscopy order and report. Results: Premature surveillance occurred in 43.0 % (n = 301) of all surveillance colonoscopies performed. Among the premature cases, rationale was attributed to inadequate bowel preparation in 17.3 % (n = 52) and due to a new clinical indication in 21.6 % (n = 65). Most commonly, in 61.1 % (n = 184) of premature cases, no rationale was documented for the early colonoscopy. Conclusions: Documented decision-making rationale for premature surveillance colonoscopy is usually absent in premature cases with inadequate bowel preparation and new clinical indications explaining only a minority of the occurrences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2496-2504
Number of pages9
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Colon polyps
  • Colonoscopy
  • Guideline adherence
  • Screening
  • Surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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