A “kinder, gentler colonoscopy” is on the way. (Does this mean it won’t say mean things to you and forget to call the next morning?). Specifically, these are new technologies from NeoGuide Systems to prevent “bunching up” of the colonoscope.
In a conventional colonoscopy, Van Dam said, the colonoscope “is akin to a garden hose.” The tip of it can be controlled, but as it is inserted and makes its way into the colon, it can form loops, which can produce discomfort.
“With NeoGuide Colonoscopy system, as the endoscopist steers the head, a computer maps where that tip is going and controls the tube behind it,” said Van Dam, who is also chairman of the scientific advisory board for NeoGuide Systems, based in Los Gatos, Calif. “It’s like a snake following its head.”
Last year at the same meeting, “bench-top testing” of the device was presented, showing that the amount of force in the model was less than half that of a standard colonoscope, Van Dam said.
The tubing has “articulated hinges,” he said, making it more flexible and less likely to form loops. It’s an entirely new system, not simply software that can be added to an existing colonoscopy system.
In the first trial, conducted in Germany, 10 patients who underwent colonoscopy with the new system reported no complications when contacted up to 30 days later. All said they would undergo it again. However, Van Dam stressed that larger studies are needed to confirm these early results.
The new system is due to become available in the United States next spring, he said. The cost difference between a traditional colonoscopy and one performed by the NeoGuide system is unknown at this point, according to the company. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted NeoGuide its approval to market the system this past February.
More from the article at foodconsumer.org and NeoGuide Systems (whose website tries to seem kind and gentle, but the background image of their product sends a shudder up the spine).
The NeoGuide technology page…