UW Health Stresses the Importance of Colonoscopies During COVID-19
Madison, Wisconsin - Screening Colonoscopies are proven to detect cancer at an early stage and save lives. It is the best test for identifying cancer and precancerous polyps of the colon and rectum. Moreover, surveillance or follow up examinations are crucial to maintain cancer prevention health in patients with a history of pre-cancerous polyps.
UW Health Digestive Health Center physicians are urging all members of the community who deferred or had colonoscopies postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic to reschedule.
As part of its initial pandemic response, UW Health postponed nonessential procedures under the careful guidance of experts to prepare for a potential surge in COVID-19 patients. This included deferring more than 2,500 non-urgent colonoscopies and upper endoscopies at the Digestive Health Center. Those procedures and others are being scheduled/rescheduled now, as the Digestive Health Center has taken the following safety measures during COVID-19:
- All staff, patient and visitors must wear masks and be screened for symptoms upon entry.
- All patients undergoing a procedure must have a negative COVID-19 tested within 72 hours prior.
- Procedure schedules are staggered and physical distancing is maintained.
- Procedures involving sedation require another accompanying responsible adult in order to drive them home after their procedure. To limit the number of people in the unit and maintain physical distancing, the accompanying adult is encouraged to wait in the car or stay in designated areas during the procedure. Staff will keep this adult updated on progress to coordinate the patient’s pick up. If the driver comes into the Digestive Health Center they must be masked and follow social distancing guidelines as advised by the health care personnel.
Video: The Importance of Colonoscopies
Date Published: 07/20/2020