Colonoscopy for colorectal cancer screening - is it effective in the hands of a general surgery resident?
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INTRODUCTION: Colonoscopy is considered to be a gold standard for colorectal cancer (CRC) screening. Endoscopy training is an essential component of general surgery training program. Patients should receive care at the highest level possible, nevertheless residents need to gain experience. The aim of our study was to evaluate the effectiveness of colonoscopy performed by general surgery residents by comparing quality indicators between surgical trainees and consultants. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The analysis included 6384 patients aged 40–65 who underwent screening colonoscopy between October 2014 and February 2018. The patients were divided into two groups: group I – patients examined by residents, group II - patients examined by board-certified general surgeons. Quality indicators such as cecal intubation rate, adenoma detection rate and patient tolerance scale were compared between the two groups. RESULTS: Group I comprised 2268 (35.53%) and group II 4116 (64.47%) patients. The overall cecal intubation rate (CIR) was 95.99%, equal for both groups (p = 0.994). There was no statistically significant difference in adenoma detection rate: 29.30% among residents and 27.66% among consultants (p = 0.203). Patient tolerance of the examination was very good (4-point scale) in consultants group in 78.98% of cases and in 75.18% cases among residents (p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: In a proper learning environment general surgery residents are able to perform high-quality and effective screening colonoscopy. However, residents need to continue the progress in their technique to improve patient tolerance in order to reach the proficiency of a consultant.
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