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Invited Commentary
April 8, 2013

Anesthesia for Colonoscopy: Too Much of a Good Thing?Comment on “Complications Following Colonoscopy With Anesthesia Assistance”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Group Health Research Institute (Dr Wernli) and Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine (Dr Inadomi), Seattle.

JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(7):556-558. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.4071

Anesthesia services to provide sedation for endoscopic procedures are increasing in prevalence.1,2 The drivers of use are many, including the desire for improved procedural tolerance and patient satisfaction3; however, economic factors may influence physicians' practice to use anesthesia.1,4 The tremendous geographic variation in anesthesia use supports the latter, especially since the geographic differences fall largely along reimbursement lines.2,4,5 By far the most common reason to use anesthesia services is to administer propofol, a sedative without analgesic properties. Endoscopic procedures that use propofol have reduced procedural and recovery times, which improve procedure throughput and increase the efficiency of endoscopy units.3

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