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Colorectal Dis. 2007 Mar;9(3):203-6.

Follow up of patients with colorectal polyps: are the BSG guidelines being adhered to?

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Airedale General Hospital, Steeton, Keighley, UK.



The publication of the BSG guidelines in 2002 provided a framework for the follow up of patients with colorectal polyps. The aim of the present study was to determine whether they had, or were being correctly adhered to in a moderately sized District General Hospital.


A total of 598 patients were on the waiting list for colonoscopy at Airedale General Hospital (AGH) in February 2005. Of these, 203 were being followed up as a result of the previous finding of a polyp.


Only 14.8% of patients had been or were being followed up according to the BSG guidelines. The majority of the 85.2% of patients who did not comply with follow up did so as a result of over investigation. Seventy-eight per cent of the low-risk group and 55% of the intermediate-risk group had been colonoscoped, or were waiting to have colonoscopy, too soon or too frequently according to the BSG guidelines. Twenty-four patients with hyperplastic polyps were being followed up incorrectly, as were 17 patients discovered to have a polyp pathology on flexible sigmoidoscopy. It was established that 131 extra colonoscopies had been, or were planned to be performed unnecessarily.


These data have major implications with regard to patient safety, service provision and cost to the NHS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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