Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 58, Issue 7, pp 1849–1855 | Cite as

Impact of an Incomplete Colonoscopy Referral Program on Recommendations After Incomplete Colonoscopy

  • Andrew J. Gawron
  • Annapoorani Veerappan
  • Sean T. McCarthy
  • Vineel Kankanala
  • Rajesh N. Keswani
Original Article



There are limited data on recommendations and adherence to complete colon evaluation (CCE) after incomplete colonoscopy (IC).


Our objectives were to (1) identify recommendations and adherence to recommendations after IC, (2) determine the diagnostic yield of CCE after IC, and (3) determine the effect of an IC referral program on recommendations for CCE.


We conducted a retrospective review of IC procedures at a teaching hospital over two time periods (January 1 to May 1 2004 and July 1 to November 1 2010). A referral process for repeat colonoscopy after IC was instituted in April 2009. Outcomes included (1) recommendations (2) adherence, and (3) yield of CCE after IC.


A total of 222 patients underwent at least one IC (overall rate of 2.5 %). In 120 patients (54.1 %), CCE was recommended within 1 year; the rate did not change from 2004 to 2010. Patients with IC due to poor preparation were more likely to have specific CCE recommendations (85.5 vs. 72.2 %, P = 0.03) and recommendations of endoscopic follow-up (76.3 vs. 10.4 %, P < 0.0001) than those with IC due to difficult anatomy. When IC was due to difficult colonoscopy, there was increase in endoscopic follow-up recommended (16.3 vs. 2.8 %, P = 0.01) in 2010 compared to 2004. Adherence to recommendations was similar regardless of modality recommended, inpatient/outpatient status, polyps on initial exam, or extent of initial exam. Polyp detection rate was greater utilizing colonoscopy than barium enema (34.3 vs. 3.6 %, P < 0.0001).


There is a lack of consensus in management strategies for patients after IC. Implementation of a referral program has had minimal impact on provider recommendations.


Colonoscopy Bowel preparation Screening Surveillance Colorectal cancer 



Complete colon evaluation


Colorectal cancer


Incomplete colonoscopy



Dr. Gawron is a National Research Service Award postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Healthcare studies under an institutional award from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, T-32 HS 000078 (PI: Jane L. Holl, MD MPH). This work was also partially supported by a Grant (UL1RR025741) from the National Center for Research Resources at NIH.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew J. Gawron
    • 1
    • 2
  • Annapoorani Veerappan
    • 1
  • Sean T. McCarthy
    • 1
  • Vineel Kankanala
    • 1
  • Rajesh N. Keswani
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Feinberg School of MedicineNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Center for Healthcare Studies, Feinberg School of MedicineNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA

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