Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Look Inside Harry's Colonoscopy - The Early Show - CBS News

Late night host David Letterman had some funny thoughts on "Early Show"co-anchor Harry Smith's on-air colonoscopy, saying Tuesday night the screening will be "real breakfast fun." 

He finished his mention of "The Early Show" by showing a "preview" of the procedure with a man and a woman walking down a dark stairwell. 

Though it was a joke, Smith's actual colonoscopy Wednesday morning did, in fact, look like a walk a dark, pink hallway. 

As Dr. Mark Pochapin, director of The Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health, checked Smith's colon, "CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric, who joined Smith during his screening, said Smith was weathering the colonoscopy well. 

"He just said, 'This makes me really happy,' so I think the drugs have kicked in," she said. 

"I'm doing great now," Smith said. 

Smith's colon, Couric added, looked "as clean as a whistle." 

As he checked the folds of Smith's colon, Pochapin said everything looked normal. Pochapin even had a chance to point out Smith's liver. 

Smith, partially sedated, said, "Hey there, liver." 

Pochapin explained the colon's function is to remove fluid from the body. 

He said, "It's basically the dryer of the body." 

Couric remarked on a controversy in the past year that doctors were missing flat polyps during colon exams. 

"It really came down to the fact that they were doing the procedure too quickly," she said. 

Pochapin agreed, saying, "There are certain quality indicators. One of them is the withdrawal time -- the time it takes (to go) from the very beginning of the colon to the very end. The minimum amount of time should be six minutes. We strive here to look at the cracks, and it should be eight minutes, and the longer you take looking around these folds, the better you're able to see these polyps or flat lesions. If you're not careful looking around, things can hide."