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The time taken to withdraw the colonoscope during a medical test or evaluation. This is the duration it takes to remove the colonoscope from the caecum (considered to be the start of the colon) to the rectum.

Longer colonoscopy withdrawal times have been demonstrated to improve polyp detection rates, and, conversely, rapid withdrawal of the colonoscope may miss lesions and reduce the effectiveness of colon cancer prevention.


ASGE & ACG (American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy & American College of Gastroenterology) 2006. Taskforce on Quality in Endoscopy quality indicators for gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures: an introduction, ASGE/ACG Taskforce on Quality in Endoscopy. Gastrointestinal Endoscopy 63(4).

NBCSP-QWG (National Bowel Cancer Screening Program—Quality Working Group) 2009. Improving Colonoscopy Services in Australia. Canberra: DoHA. Viewed 23 October 2013,

This content Based on Australian Institute of Health and Welfare material. Attribution provided as required under the AIHW CC-BY licence.

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