Discrepancy between self-reported and actual colonoscopy polypectomy practices for the removal of small polyps

Gastrointest Endosc. 2020 Mar;91(3):655-662.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.gie.2019.10.024. Epub 2019 Oct 26.


Background and aims: Cold snare polypectomy (CSP) is associated with higher rates of complete resection compared with cold biopsy forceps (CBF) for the removal of small polyps (4-9 mm). This study aimed to evaluate self-reported polypectomy preferences and actual practice patterns among endoscopists at an academic center and to identify factors associated with the use of CSP for small polyps.

Methods: In phase A, endoscopists completed a survey evaluating preferences for polypectomy techniques. In phase B, we performed a retrospective analysis of all consecutive colonoscopies with polypectomy (January 2016 to September 2018). Uni- and multivariate analysis were performed to identify factors associated with CSP for small polyps.

Results: Nineteen of 26 (73%) endoscopists completed the survey (phase A); 3 (15.8%) were interventional endoscopists. Most respondents indicated that they use CSP (89.5%) for small polyps and identified no reasons for choosing CBF over CSP (73.7%). In phase B, we identified 1118 colonoscopies with 2625 polypectomies for polyps ≤9 mm. Most diminutive polyps (≤3 mm) were removed with CBF (819 of 912; 90%). CBF (46.2%) was also preferentially used for removal of small polyps (n = 1713), followed by hot snare polypectomy (27.2%), and CSP (26.6%). On multivariate analysis, interventional endoscopists were associated with a higher likelihood of using CSP for small polyps (odds ratio, 1.38; 95% confidence interval, 1.07-1.79; P = .01).

Conclusions: Significant discrepancy exists between self-reported preferences and actual polypectomy practices. CBF is still preferentially used over CSP for the removal of polyps sized 4-9 mm; further strategies are needed to monitor and implement adequate polypectomy techniques.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Colonic Polyps* / pathology
  • Colonic Polyps* / surgery
  • Colonoscopy / methods
  • Colonoscopy / standards*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Professional Practice / standards
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Self Report