Vargo said doctors who do the exams can be trained to use propofol in healthy patients, but a journal editorial said some prefer anesthesiologist assistance because it allows them to focus on the colon exam, and if something goes wrong with the sedation, they may not be held legally accountable.
Dawn Meehan, 42, an Orlando, Fla.-area teacher's assistant and writer, had a colonoscopy last month under deep sedation monitored by an anesthesia specialist; her insurance covered everything. Colonoscopies to screen for colon cancer usually aren't recommended until age 50 but Meehan had the exam because of symptoms for a common digestive disease.
She was a low-risk patient and said if her colonoscopy doctor had offered it, she might have chosen light sedation. But even though the extra sedation is more costly, Meehan said patients who want it should get it, because otherwise some might "shy away from getting screened."
Upper digestive-tract exam: http://1.usa.gov/hrG39X
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