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Colorectal Dis. 2010 Oct;12(10 Online):e273-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-1318.2009.02146.x.

Endoscopist experience as a risk factor for colonoscopic complications.

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Endoscopy Unit, Department of Gastroenterology, Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol, Badalona, Spain.



We aimed to determine the incidence of colonic perforation (CP) following colonoscopy and postpolypectomy bleeding (PPB) in a teaching hospital, assessing the influence of endoscopist experience as a risk factor.


All colonoscopies performed between 1995 and 2008 were reviewed. Demographic data, endoscopic procedure information, incidence of CP and PPB, and endoscopist experience were recorded.


In the 14-year period, 25,214 endoscopic colonic procedures were performed, and 3991 patients underwent polypectomy. The overall CP risk was 0.51/1000 procedures; and PPB 14.7/1000. The relative risk (RR) ratio of complications was 2.8/1000 procedures. The RR rate was highest for endoscopists performing less than 591 procedures per year (4.0/1000 [95% CI, 3.7-4.3] vs 2.9/1000 [95% CI, 2.6-3.2]), P < 0.001).


The complication rate after colonoscopy was comparable to that previously reported. Colonoscopy carried out by a low-volume endoscopist was independently associated with bleeding and perforation.

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