Can you have your colonoscopy and endoscopy on the same day?

I’ve heard it dozens of times:

My gastroenterologist says s/he can’t do my endoscopy and colonoscopy on the same day.

Sometimes it’s because it was considered too “dangerous”. Occasionally it’s because “that’s not the way we do it”. Sorry, that doesn’t fly with me. And it shouldn’t with you.

Yes, there are true medical reasons that some people shouldn’t have an upper endoscopy and a colonoscopy (sometimes called “bidirectional endoscopy” or a “double dip“) on the same day. But these are few and far between.

Years ago, my mother told me the same thing…after her procedures. I nearly flipped out.

The real reason is that (in the USA) the doctor and/or the facility gets paid less for doing them on the same day than when they do them on different days.

What does having your 2 procedures done on separate days mean for you?

  • 2 days away from work or your personal life
  • Undergoing anesthesia/sedation twice
  • Getting someone else  to drive you to and from the procedure on 2 days
  • More money out of your pocket (or out of your insurance company’s)

If you do need to have both done, think carefully. A patient-center doctor would usually have no problem doing them both on the same day, instead of caring more about the bottom line.

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About Ryan Madanick, MD

I am a gastroenterologist at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, as well as the Program Director for the GI & Hepatology Fellowship Program. I specialize in diseases of the esophagus, with a strong interest in the diagnosis and treatment of patients who have difficult-to-manage esophageal problems such as refractory GERD. I can be followed on Twitter: @RyanMadanickMD
Aside | This entry was posted in Endoscopy, gastroenterology, patient care and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Can you have your colonoscopy and endoscopy on the same day?

  1. Jim says:

    ..and double the chance of a medical error.

    On a lighter note, I like to call them flip-flops.

  2. I have included the latest guidelines to endoscopy on http://www.gastroguidelines.wordpress.com . I have had patients having both on the same day. In fact the issue for not having both procedures done on the same day I suspect has often been logistics more than anything else -i.e. a full list.

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