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

Published:October 26, 2019DOI:

      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.


      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.


      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).


      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.


      BMI (body mass index), CBF (cold biopsy forceps), CI (confidence interval), CRC (colorectal cancer), CSP (cold snare polypectomy), ESGE (European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy), HSP (hot snare polypectomy), IQR (interquartile range), OR (odds ratio)
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