The Lakeshore General Hospital has expanded its colonoscopy recall to include those who underwent the exams before 2009 after receiving more than a dozen calls from patients upset that they were excluded.
The Pointe-Claire hospital announced the recall on Sept. 12 after discovering that a general surgeon had failed to complete colonoscopies properly, raising fears that some patients might have been given the all-clear, when in fact, they had cancer.
Dr. Nadeem Ahmed, a gastroenterologist, said that the recall would go back three years, based on the recommendations in the medical literature in similar situations.
However, the physician at the centre of the recall, Gilles Bourdon, had performed colonoscopies at the Lakeshore for a number of years before 2009.
“People can still phone us and we will look at their medical files, and if they wish to have a colonoscopy re-done, we will do so,” said Sandrine Charpentier, a spokesperson for the West Island Health and Social Services Centre, responsible for the Lakeshore.
To date, 23 patients who were initially not part of the recall have been booked for follow-up exams.
The Lakeshore has already completed follow-up exams on 242 patients out of an initial list of 684. In addition, 228 patients have told the hospital that they do not want to re-do a colonoscopy, either for personal reasons or because they had one done since their exam by Bourdon.
That leaves more than 200 colonoscopies to be performed. Gastroenterologists at the Montreal General, the Royal Victoria, St. Mary’s and the Jewish General hospitals have agreed to assist the Lakeshore with the recall, which Charpentier said should be completed by December.
The Lakeshore has refused to disclose the number of patients who have been told they have cancer until the recall is completed. The Gazette has already reported the case of an 82-year-old man whose colorectal cancer was missed during a routine colonoscopy.
Bourdon, whose medical licence has been severely restricted, no longer practises at the Lakeshore. No one at his Pointe-Claire office answered the phone on Wednesday.
On the day the recall was announced, the Quebec College of Physicians confirmed that it had launched an investigation into Bourdon’s professional conduct.
But Leslie Labranche, public-relations coordinator for the professional order, said this week that there is no ongoing investigation by the College.