NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Is One of First Hospitals in U.S. to Offer Computer-Assisted Colonoscopy

Remote-controlled system transmits less force on the bowel wall; may allow for a more comfortable and potentially sedation-free examination

Jul 1, 2013


NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center is now one of just two hospitals in the United States to offer colon cancer screening using computer-assisted colonoscopy. The new colonoscope, the invendoscope™ SC20 (manufactured by Invendo Medical and cleared by the FDA) is remotely controlled by the doctor, unlike the traditional colonoscope, which is manually inserted and controlled by the doctor. Because it is not manually pushed and pulled, the remote-controlled system transmits less force on the bowel wall and may allow for a more comfortable and potentially sedation-free examination.

Physicians at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia, who began offering this option in February, are hopeful that the new technique will encourage more people to undergo colon cancer screening, especially those who cannot tolerate sedation or are otherwise concerned about sedation or potential discomfort.

Dr. Benjamin Lebwohl, assistant professor of clinical medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and a gastroenterologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia, said, "We are trying to encourage people who might not be willing to undergo screening colonoscopy. Fear of pain or discomfort is a common reason why some people don't undergo colonoscopy, and while sedation can make it more comfortable, many people don't want to be sedated or are concerned about potential complications from sedation." Sedation-related complications occur in approximately 1.3 percent of the procedures, according to the Clinical Outcomes Research Initiative Database.

"A screening colonoscopy can be a life-saving preventive health measure," said Dr. Richard Rosenberg, assistant clinical professor of medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and a gastroenterologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia. "But only 65 percent of people who should be screened complete any form of screening, according to 2010 CDC data. A sedation-free colonoscopy might increase the number of people willing to get a screening colonoscopy."

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. A screening colonoscopy is usually recommended for those age 50 and older who are at average risk for the disease. The test allows for early detection and removal of precancerous and early cancerous polyps. The procedure involves inserting a colonoscope — a long, flexible, lighted tube — through the rectum and into the colon. The colonoscope allows the physician to see the lining of the colon and to remove small amounts of tissue, including entire polyps, for further examination.

In previous trials in Germany, where the manufacturer of the invendoscope SC20 is based, only 5 percent of patients undergoing colonoscopy with the invendoscope SC20 required sedation.

The device is currently being evaluated in a clinical trial at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia; it is being offered to patients age 50 to 79 who already planned to have a screening colonoscopy with moderate sedation and who meet other health criteria. As part of the trial, investigators will compare the rate of polyp detection with the invendoscope SC20 with that of traditional colonoscopy, to ensure its effectiveness. They will also evaluate other factors related to comfort, safety, and quality.

For more information about the clinical trial, patients can contact [email protected].

Columbia University Medical Center

Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, preclinical, and clinical research; medical and health sciences education; and patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and State and one of the largest faculty medical practices in the Northeast. For more information, visit or

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, based in New York City, is the nation's largest not-for-profit, non-sectarian hospital, with 2,409 beds. The Hospital has nearly 2 million inpatient and outpatient visits in a year, including 12,758 deliveries and 215,946 visits to its emergency departments. NewYork-Presbyterian's 6,144 affiliated physicians and 20,154 staff provide state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine at five major centers: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division. One of the most comprehensive health care institutions in the world, the Hospital is committed to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area and is consistently ranked among the best academic medical institutions in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report. The Hospital has academic affiliations with two of the nation's leading medical colleges: Weill Cornell Medical College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Media Contact:

Public Affairs 212-305-5587