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World J Gastroenterol. 2010 Aug 7;16(29):3630-7.

Colonoscopic polypectomy and associated techniques.

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  • 1Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, University of Florida, 1600 SW Archer Road, Gainesville, FL 32610-0214, USA.


Polypectomy of colonic polyps has been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer development and is considered a fundamental skill for all endoscopists who perform colonoscopy. A variety of polypectomy techniques and devices are available, and their use can vary greatly based on local availability and preferences. In general, cold forceps and cold snare have been the polypectomy methods of choice for smaller polyps, and hot snare has been the method of choice for larger polyps. The use of hot forceps has mostly fallen out of favor. Polypectomy for difficult to remove polyps may require the use of special devices and advanced techniques and has continued to evolve. As a result, the vast majority of polyps today can be removed endoscopically. Since electrocautery is frequently used for polypectomy, endoscopists should be thoroughly familiar with the basic principles of electrosurgery as it pertains to polypectomy. Tattooing of a polypectomy site is an important adjunct to polypectomy and can greatly facilitate future surgery or endoscopic surveillance. The two most common post-polypectomy complications are bleeding and perforation. Their incidence can be decreased with the use of meticulous polypectomy techniques and the application of some prophylactic maneuvers. This review will examine the technique of polypectomy and its complications from the perspective of the practicing gastroenterologist.

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