Polypectomy is an endoscopic procedure to remove a growth (often benign) inside the stomach or the large bowel. This is performed whilst patients are under sedation, and involves identification of abnormal growths before removing them using endoscopic equipment (including biopsy forceps, snares or other instrument to burn off the abnormal tissue). The most important step in bowel cancer prevention is identification of polyps, and having the latest high resolution endoscopic equipment allow the Gastroenterologist to carefully look for the small, flat lesions that can be difficult to see. Furthermore, by being meticulous, our Specialists have very high polyp detection rate, which can only be to your advantage as the polyps can be removed at an early stage.
As with any medical procedures, polypectomy does carry a small risk. The risk includes bleeding, infection, post procedural pain, and rarely a small tear of the colon. It is imperative that you are aware that all gastroenterologists who work at Pakenham Endoscopy are very well qualified, and hold Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA) accreditations.
You should also know that, as part of the comprehensive service we provide to our patients, our Specialists are always available after hours / weekends for advice by a simple SMS message. It is this post-operative care that you should demand, and should help you decide where to have your endoscopic procedure(s).
At Pakenham Endoscopy, we have also instituted steps to prevent patients having repeated procedures when a polyp is found. Our nursing staff and doctors go through all medical files, to contact patients to discuss:
- Anti-coagulants and/or other blood thinners;
- Diabetes medications during fasting and bowel preparation period;
- Any anaesthetics issues previously, including CPAP machine use;
- For patients who have heart pace makers or defibrillator, we will contact the Cardiologists on patients’ behalf to obtain written information prior to endoscopy, which will help our Gastroenterologists decide if it is safe to perform polypectomy using a small electrical current.
The extra phone calls you receive from our nurses and doctors would help prevent unnecessary repeated procedures down the track.