Background: Successful colonoscopy depends on insertion of the instrument to the cecum, precise observation, and minimal patient discomfort during the procedure. The aim of this prospective study was to determine whether certain variables are associated with insertion time and patient discomfort during colonoscopy.
Methods: Nine hundred nine consecutive colonoscopic examinations performed by a single endoscopist in patients without obstructive disease of the colorectum were analyzed. Four liters of Colonlyte (Taejun, Seoul, Korea) were used for bowel cleansing, and meperidine (25 mg) was administered intramuscularly 10 minutes before the procedure. The degree of patient discomfort was assessed using a 5-level Likert scale.
Results: Among 909 study patients, colonoscopy was completed to the cecum in 876 patients (96.4%). The adjusted completion rate was 98% and mean insertion time for complete colonoscopy was 6.9+/-4.2 minutes. Colonoscopy caused less patient discomfort than barium enema or esophagogastroduodenoscopy. Multivariate logistic regression analysis demonstrated that inadequate bowel cleansing, advanced age, and constipation as an indication are independent factors associated with prolonged insertion time (>10 minutes). Female gender was the only independent factor associated with significant discomfort (> or = level 4) during colonoscopy.
Conclusions: Among the factors affecting insertion time and patient discomfort during colonoscopy, unsatisfactory bowel preparation was the only correctable factor.