The importance of abdominal pressure during colonoscopy: techniques to assist the physician and to minimize injury to the patient and assistant

Gastroenterol Nurs. May-Jun 2005;28(3):232-6; quiz 237-8. doi: 10.1097/00001610-200505000-00007.


This article outlines techniques that can be used to assist the physician's ability during colonoscopy to achieve cecal intubation in both standard situations and in specific conditions such as the obese patient. When applied properly, abdominal pressure can help shorten the length of the procedure, minimize the angle of turns in the colon, and minimize discomfort to the patient. A Mayo physician survey unanimously concluded that abdominal pressure is beneficial during colonoscopy. This article addresses the ergonomics of applying pressure and suggests techniques that minimize risk of injury to both the patient and the assistant. In addition, questions that new assistants may ask are addressed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen
  • Colonoscopy / adverse effects
  • Colonoscopy / methods
  • Colonoscopy / nursing*
  • Ergonomics
  • Humans
  • Obesity
  • Pressure
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control