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Comment & Response
March 2014

Colonoscopy—Don't Want to Be Sedated?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Family Medicine & Community Health, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester
JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(3):482-483. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.13755

To the Editor I read the Perspective titled “Mandatory Anesthesia”1 with interest, having been following the recent debate about the rapidly growing use of anesthesia with propofol for colonoscopy and the associated costs compared with sedation. My interest comes, in part, from my experience of having undergone 2 screening colonoscopies with neither anesthesia nor sedation. In both cases, the colonoscopy preparation was far more unpleasant than the colonoscopy itself. In both cases, I was required to have an intravenous line inserted, “just in case,” which I suspect resulted in a substantial charge for the line and a bag of saline2 (I did not receive a bill either time), and the second time, despite having discussed not wanting any sedation, I had to stop the nurse when I saw that she was about to administer medication through the intravenous line. I would be quite surprised if my insurance was not billed for the medication, since it had been drawn up.

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