I have a small inguinal hernia and was wondering if having a colonoscopy will make the hernia worse. I understand that the intestine is inflated during the procedure, so it seemed to me that this may cause the hernia to tear open. Has anyone heard from a hernia doc on this subject? Thanks
Thanks. I did some web reading on these and see that the virtual colonoscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy also require inflating the intestines. About 20 years ago I had a sigmoidoscopy with no anethesia and it was extremely painful when they pumped in the air.
I'll have to ask the doc who does the procedure. They found and removed a benign polyp when I did my last colonoscopy so they recommend re-testing every three years.
The quick answer to the initial question is NO, if the colonoscopy is skillfully and properly performed by a qualified and attentive physician.
However, it should be recognized that colonoscopy involves filling the colon with additional air; delivered by the colonoscope to improve visualization during the procedure. Thus, in patients with large hernias containing intestine, espcially if it is colon, over-inflation of the large bowel during colonoscopy can cause the loop of intestine involved within the hernia to become potentially over-distended, and then incarcerated and/or obstructed. Attempts to subsequently aspirate the air may not always be successful and urgent surgery may become necessary. So although the hernia defect does not necessarily get worse, it may become incarcerated as a result of the colonoscopy. While this is an unlikely and rare event, I have seen it happen and it should be considered in patients with large, colon-containing hernias.
In a hernia on the left side is the colon or small intestine most likely to be involved. I ask this because if it's the small intestine I wonder if that would reduce the risk of having a colonoscopy. Thank you.
4 days ago I had my right inguinal hernia repaired. One week prior to the surgery I had a colonoscope with no issues. The doctor knew I was having the hernia repaired and preferred to do the colonoscope BEFORE the surgery because of the air inflation issue. I feel certain there are individual issues involved, but this was my experience. I will say though that the debilitation caused by the bowel cleanse may not have been the best for going almost immediately into the hernia surgery. I might have been better to wait a month, but was under time constraints to get everything accomplished in a very short time period.