Indy Gastro | Colonoscopy, rectal bleeding, diarrhea, constipation, endoscopy

Dr. Michael Morelli Conducts Five Year Research Study

dr-morelli-conducts-five-year-studyDr. Morelli standing in front of his research project poster at the American College of Gastroenterology annual meeting.

The timing of the first follow up colonoscopy after a patient is diagnosed with a pre cancerous polyp is well established. It is not well known, however, exactly when a colonoscopy should be done following the first follow up or surveillance exam. Is there a way to define better how frequently patients need to have follow up colonoscopies after the first surveillance exam?

To answer this question, Dr. Michael Morelli of Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology (IGH), conducted a research study over the course of 5 years through the Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology Research Foundation.

Dr. Morelli reviewed the results of the subsequent two colonoscopy exams performed on 965 patients who had pre cancerous polyps found on their first colonoscopy.   This was done to quantify the risk of finding advanced polyps on their third exam and to see if the findings on the first two exams were able to predict the results on the third exam.  Dr. Morelli found that patients who had low risk polyps on the first exam and low risk or no polyps on the second exam had a very low risk of having advanced polyps on the third exam implying that these patients can  have the time interval between their second and third exams extended.  This can lead to patients having to undergo fewer colonoscopies in their lifetime without leading to any apparent greater risk in the development of colon cancer, which is great news for our patients. 

Dr. Morelli plans on publishing the results of this important study with the hope of changing guideline recommendations regarding how often colonoscopy has to be done in this category of patients.  Through research endeavors such as this, IGH continues to search for new ways to serve their patients better.

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