Released on Mar 2, 2018

Statement in response to USA Today/Kaiser Health News story on adverse events in ambulatory surgery centers

The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) represents more than 15,000 physicians and other experts in endoscopic procedures for the digestive tract.

Endoscopic procedures are non-surgical, so they are inherently less invasive than many other kinds of procedures. They are safely performed in an ambulatory care setting or a hospital setting. Regardless of the setting where procedures and surgeries are performed, the highest quality and safety standards must be met to ensure the safety of our patients.

While all medical procedures carry some risk, serious adverse events from colonoscopy and other endoscopic procedures are rare, regardless of where they are performed.  It is important to remember that millions of procedures, many of them life saving, are performed safely each year in the ambulatory care setting.  

At ASGE, a major focus of our work is to guide physicians, practice managers and other healthcare professionals in these standards. We have a broad and robust range of recommendations, guidelines, training courses  and resources to ensure optimal patient safety, and we continually urge vigilance and adherence to best practices.

In addition, we work closely with many other agencies and organizations that develop standards and recommendations for endoscopy units based on evidence and best practices.

ASGE continually advocates not only for strict oversight of all inpatient and outpatient settings. We also urge careful and complete reporting of all patient safety outcomes to appropriate agencies and organizations. 

Patients should feel comfortable asking their doctors about the setting where their procedure will be performed, alternative sites of service that are available, and what measures are in place in the event of an adverse event. 

For more information about this issue, see the response and other resources from the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association.



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About Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures allow the gastroenterologist to visually inspect the upper gastrointestinal tract (esophagus, stomach and duodenum) and the lower bowel (colon and rectum) through an endoscope, a thin, flexible device with a lighted end and a powerful lens system. Endoscopy has been a major advance in the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases. For example, the use of endoscopes allows the detection of ulcers, cancers, polyps and sites of internal bleeding. Through endoscopy, tissue samples (biopsies) may be obtained, areas of blockage can be opened and active bleeding can be stopped. Polyps in the colon can be removed, which has been shown to prevent colon cancer.

About the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Since its founding in 1941, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) has been dedicated to advancing patient care and digestive health by promoting excellence and innovation in gastrointestinal endoscopy. ASGE, with more than 15,000 members worldwide, promotes the highest standards for endoscopic training and practice, fosters endoscopic research, recognizes distinguished contributions to endoscopy, and is the foremost resource for endoscopic education. Visit www.asge.org and www.screen4coloncancer.org for more information and to find a qualified doctor in your area.

American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
3300 Woodcreek Drive Downers Grove, IL 60515
P (630) 573-0600
F (630) 963-8332
 www.asge.org
 www.screen4coloncancer.org

Media Contact

Gina Steiner
Director of Communications
630.570.5635;gsteiner@asge.org