Most People Prefer a Skinny Scope

The study, led by principal investigator Blair A. Jobe, M.D., a surgeon in the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Digestive Health Center, found that study participants preferred unsedated, small-calibre upper endoscopy, commonly referred to as the skinny scope, to the standard screening method for upper digestive disease, sedated upper endoscopy.

Study participants in Jobe's Esophageal Care Clinic listed a number of reasons for preferring the skinny scope, including not having to undergo anaesthesia, not missing a day of work and not having to arrange for transportation to and from home. But the best benefit, according to at least one study participant, was the ability to watch the entire procedure in real time on a colour monitor and receive immediate feedback from the clinician.

"This trial has established that unsedated small-calibre endoscopy used in an office setting is technically feasible, well-tolerated and accurate in the screening and diagnosis of Barrett's oesophagus. It's a more personal approach and represents the potential to eliminate the infrastructure and costs required for intravenous sedation. It's also more immediate. As soon as you're done, you can tell the patient what you've found."

One hundred thirty-four men and women with long-standing histories of gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms and acid-reducing medication use were enrolled in this randomized, cross-over trial. Ninety-eight percent of subjects successfully completed unsedated small-calibre endoscopy (skinny scope) in an office setting. More than 70 percent of participants said they would choose the unsedated skinny scope over the conventional approach on a subsequent endoscopy. The prevalence of Barrett's esophagus discovered by both approaches was equal and there were no undetected cases of cancer.; Source: Oregon Health & Science University