Optical colonoscopy (OC) is an essential component of colorectal cancer screening. In addition to favorable polyp detection capabilities, OC has a unique therapeutic role with the ability to remove identified polyps. However, this procedure carries a low but real risk for morbidity and mortality. OC requires physical intubation of the length of the colon and manipulation of the instrument. In addition, the performance of therapeutic polyp removal increases risk. Inherent to this procedure are several pathways for potential adverse events. Complications can be divided into several major categories including perforation, hemorrhage, postpolypectomy syndromes, and issues related to sedation. The imaging manifestations of complications related to optical colonoscopy as well as the potential underlying mechanisms will be reviewed. Emphasis will be placed on cross-sectional imaging given the improved sensitivity and specificity over conventional radiography.
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