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Colonoscopy 6 months after surgery?

Posts: 827
Joined: Jan 2010

I guess I have a need to vent.

History: Went to PCP in Sept. 2008 because of severe anemia. Doctor thought that I must be bleeding internally so set me up for colonoscopy and endoscopy of stomach. I went for the procedures on 9-24-08. The gastro doc was 1 hour late, 5 patients waiting for the procedure all with appointments 15 minutes apart. And we were all getting a little grouchy! I was the 2nd called in and when he came in he didn’t introduce himself or ask questions or anything…I really only saw his profile and the drip was started and about 30 mins. later I was in recovery. Fast work, huh? In my report it states that there was (1) 6mm polyp in the splenic flexure, ( 3) 5 to 15 mm polyps from 15 to 20 cm up.Resected and retrieved. Pathology…all were adenomatous…come back in 3 years.No report was mailed concerning the stomach procedure but I called and the nurse said I have gastritis of unknown reasons and that is probably causing a little blood seepage thus causing the anemia.. No H Pylori.

One year later on 10-15-09 I had terrible stomach pain….the only symptom other than continuous anemia. Went back to PCP and he sends me straight to surgeon who sends me straight to admitting at the hospital.Cat showed large mass in ascending colon. They call in the gastro who did the colonoscopy 1 year previous and he did another. Report is: likely malignant tumor in ascending colon..biopsied. A few 4-6 mm polyps in the ascending colon.

Surgery on 10-20-09. Surgeon says the tumor was as large as his fist and it was NOT a fast growing type tumor.Stage II colon cancer.

Now, I said all of that to say this. It doesn’t take much to realize what happened. And I have found that a colonoscopy is only as good as the person giving it.Get in a hurry and you miss a lot…like a whole section of the large intestine! The thing is, he recommended that I have another colonoscopy 6 months from date of surgery. My onc. had said at one time 1 year. I have been putting off the receptionist when she calls to set up appointment but today when she called to remind me I asked her if she knew why I needed one in 6 months when most people seem to get them 1 yr later. She tells me that she thinks it is probably because he found more polyps in the ascending colon when he was doing the biopsy.

I’m going to talk to my oncologist about this again. It really worries me that there is probably still something in there that needs to come out. I’m changing Gastros for sure but I was curious if anyone else has had to do the follow up colonoscopy in 6 months like this gastro is recommending?

Sorry so long but felt good to put it in words ;)Thanks for listening.


Patteee's picture
Posts: 950
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi Pat :)

My fact finding colonoscopy was May 20, 2008-large tumor and several large benign polyps. I was almost totally obstructed in the sigmoid colon, couldn't then view 3/4 of my colon. 2 weeks later, another colonoscopy done at Mayo, they couldn't get through the obstacle course- and then I did obstruct and colorectal surgeon had to go in without a clean colon (oh ick) as well as not knowing what the rest of the colon looked like.

So I ended up with a temporary colostomy. I recovered- went through 6 months of chemo hell and many calls from Mayo trying to reschedule me for a complete colonoscopy. I finally did, 6 months after surgery. So yes, I have had a repeat colonoscopy 6 months after surgery.

I would definitely without a doubt dump your gastro doc and find one that isn't such a jerk. I don't trust a lot of docs, and the doc doing the colonosccopy hasn't actually earned my trust. I would say he did a SLOOPY *** job the first time and suspect he is just covering his buttocks by wanting one 6 months from surgery. IMO

Marauders99's picture
Posts: 22
Joined: Feb 2010

I was Dx Oct '08 with metastatic CRC. First course of action was 12 cycles of FOLFOX w/ Avastin, followed by 6 weeks of radiation on the primary. Resection of the primary in my colon was done laporoscopically at Mayo, FL in July 2009. The Mayo surgeon has recommended colonoscopies for me every 3 months for the first year, every 6 months for years 2 and 3 and once a year after that. The prep sucks but the peace of mind of seeing those pictures of a clean colon are helpful, especially while still working on the liver mets.
Bottom line, there's as many opinions as there are doctors. Find one you have a good repoir with and stick with him/her. If you don't have that, start looking. That's my two cents.


Posts: 827
Joined: Jan 2010

is right on the money, Scott ;) I have already asked my onc. for a recommendation and she gave me a name and said she will set it up when it is time.Anyone that is so close & personal, you know, working on your rear end...well, you really, really need to have some trust there, don't you?


Posts: 827
Joined: Jan 2010

<<< would say he did a SLOOPY *** job the first time and suspect he is just covering his buttocks by wanting one 6 months from surgery. IMO>>>

He did and he is. I was coming out of anesthesia and he was sitting in a chair in my room. I heard him say " I can't believe I missed something this big." He thought I was still 'out'. I don't mind having the procedure in 6 months if that is what is needed, but I DO suspect his motives.



Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Good thing you will get it done in 6-months - at least in this case, you'll hopefully get a better feel for where you are at - then you can move to yearly.

You're right, scope is only as good as the person performing it - I got a bad one last year and did not trust the results, so in essence, I missed a year - gonna' find a new one this year towards Nov/Dec and see about another one.

Thanks for your post on Harley :)


ron50's picture
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov 2001

My tumour was in the corner of the transverse and descending colon. My Gi could not get the scope past it so the surgeon asked for another at six months to make sure that there was no further problems. Unfortunately I started the prep the day after chemo. If there is a record for projectile vomiting pico-prep I own it. Cheers Ron.

Joy1216's picture
Posts: 293
Joined: Mar 2006

My colon resection was 03/22/06. The surgeon and onc said to follow the gastro's recommendation for a follow-up colonoscopy, which was six months after surgery. I had the follow-up in October 06, then another in one year. Since those two were clear, they put me on the 3-year plan. My next colonoscopy will be this fall. I would follow the recommendation of your gastro.

tootsie1's picture
Posts: 5065
Joined: Feb 2008

Hey, Pat.

My husband and I went to a seminar about colon cancer tonight, and the gastroenterologist who was the speaker was fabulous. And one thing he emphasized was that the procedure is only as good as the doctor performing it. For some reason, the right side is the side where they can often miss polyps if they move too quickly. He showed us a video of a colonoscopy he did recently, and he was very carefully moving the scope back and forth to be sure.

I'm sorry you had such a bad experience. Sounds like that doctor was trying to fit in more patients for more money.


Posts: 220
Joined: Dec 2009

Yes, I am to have a repeat colonscopy this month at nearly six months post of from colon resection due to continuing gastro problems post op. In fact, was recommended at 4.5 months but because I am also a caregiver couldn't arrange to go that soon due to my loved one's treatment schedule.

Your post scares me to think large tumors get overlooked so easily. Docs think I probably have scar tissue/strictures and while I dread whatever they find I do sure hope they don't find another tumor.

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