Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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Water immersion sigmoidoscopy versus standard insufflation for colorectal cancer screening: A cohort study

1 Department of Gastroenterology, ASST Ovest Milanese, Magenta, Italy
2 Department of Emergency Medicine, ASST Niguarda Hospital, Milan, Italy
3 Department of Gastroenterology, Dudley Group Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Dudley, United Kingdom
4 Department of Gastroenterology, ASST Ovest Milanese, Legnano, Italy
5 Department of Gastroenterology, CTO Hospital, Iglesias, Italy

Correspondence Address:
Calcedonio Calcara,
Department Of Gastroenterology, ASST Ovest Milanese, Magenta, Italy. Postal address: Fornaroli Hospital, Via al Donatore di Sangue N° 50, Magenta, 20013, MI
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjg.sjg_198_21

PMID: 34494603

Background: Although the efficacy of water-assisted colonoscopy is well established, the role of water immersion sigmoidoscopy (WIS) remains unclear. We compared WIS with carbon dioxide insufflation sigmoidoscopy (CO2S) on patient outcomes. Methods: We conducted an analysis of prospectively collected data from a single-center quality improvement program about patients undergoing unsedated screening sigmoidoscopy (WIS and CO2S) between May 2019 and January 2020. Outcomes studied included the following: Rates of severe pain <17% (score of ≥7 on a numeric rating scale of 0–10, and on a Likert scale), willingness to repeat the procedure without sedation, adequate bowel cleanliness >75% (proportion of Boston Bowel Preparation Scale score: 2–3) and adenoma detection rate (ADR). Results: In total, 234 patients (111 WIS; 123 CO2S) were included. All patients were aged 58 years and 58.9% were female; baseline characteristics were comparable between groups. There were no significant differences in rates of severe pain (WIS: 16.5%, CO2S: 13.8%; P = 0.586), willingness to repeat the unsedated procedure (WIS: 82.3%, CO2S: 84.5%; P = 0.713), adequate bowel cleanliness (WIS: 78.4%, CO2S: 78%, P = 0.999) or ADR (WIS: 25.2%, CO2S: 16.3%; P = 0.106) between groups. However, average procedure times were longer with WIS (9.06 min) compared to CO2S (6.45 min; P < 0.001). Overall, 29.6% of women reported that they would repeat sigmoidoscopy only if sedated. Conclusions: WIS does not ameliorate tolerance to and quality of sigmoidoscopy screening measured by several scores. When offered a choice, the women's willingness to repeat WIS or CO2S without sedation was poor and raises concern on the opportunity of screening sigmoidoscopy without sedation in these subjects.

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