The Worst Time to Have a Colonoscopy (And Other Procedures)

colonoscopy cartoonYou have probably heard that July is not a great time to have elective surgery, as this is the month that all the new doctors have their first day in the USA. Actually, the data is mixed. Still, there are some times that are more dangerous than others:

  1. Public holidays: If you are admitted to the hospital on an emergency basis on a public holiday, you are nearly 1.5x more likely to be dead a week later!
  2. Late in the day: Colonoscopies are less likely to find polyps, as compared to earlier in the day. With each hour of the day that passes, the average gastroenterologist is 4.6% less likely to find a polyp. And a Duke study showed that the likelihood of anesthesia problems increases over the course of the day: 1% at 9 am, rising to 4.2% for those starting at 4 pm.

Conclusion: Early to bed, early to get the best colonoscopy and surgeries, and stay safely in your home, motionless, on public holidays.

Atlantic Monthly, June 19, 2013

The small print: The material presented herein is informational only, and is not designed to provide specific guidance for an individual. Please check with a valued health care provider with any questions or concerns. As for me, I am a Harvard- , Yale- and UPenn-educated radiation oncologist, and I practice in the Seattle, WA (USA) area. I feel genuinely privileged to be able to share with you. If you enjoyed today’s offering, please consider clicking the follow button at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

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Harvard AB Yale MD UPenn Radiation Oncology Radiation Oncologist, Seattle area

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