Position Matters for Polyp Detection!



What is your favorite sleeping position? Are you a back sleeper, side sleeper or belly sleeper? Researchers have analyzed sleeping positions for years to determine what position delivers the best breathing, quality rest and pain relief. Side sleepers comprise the largest group, according to a study by the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service in London, equaling almost 41 percent of men and women. Side sleeping offers some of the best health benefits like minimizing back and hip pain and even reducing snoring (Source: Spry Living).

Did you know that there is a best position for a colonoscopy? A study published in the September 2015 issue of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy found that when patients were positioned on their left side while the right side of their colons were examined, there was a higher polyp detection rate.

The study examined 130 patients between the ages of 40 and 80 who had a diagnostic colonoscopy between March 2012 and February 2014. Patients were placed in the supine position (on their backs) for the exam, followed by repositioning to their left side to examine the right side of the colon, or to their right side to examine the left side of the colon.

The data was clear that when patients were positioned on their left side, more polyps were detected compared to when they were in supine position. For patients who were positioned on the right, polyp detection rates were similar to rates when they were in supine position.

Why would the body’s position affect the polyp detection rate of the doctor? The authors of the study point out that changing position of the body could make certain portions of the colon more clearly visible and allow for optimal viewing. Even though the newly detected polyps were small, a physician may recommend more frequent colonoscopies in the future. Subsequently, the colonoscopy becomes an even stronger examination for surveillance and colon cancer prevention (Source: Outpatient Surgery).