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Benefits and risks

Benefits and risks

When NICE looked at the evidence, it decided that the procedure was safe enough and worked well enough to be used in the NHS. The 9 studies that NICE looked at involved a total of 781 patients.

Generally, the studies showed the following benefits:

  • the polyps were successfully removed in most patients

  • in a study of 176 patients, no polyps had come back in patients followed up for 5 years. In a study of 146 patients, 1 polyp had come back after 2 years.

The studies showed that the risks included:

  • 7 patients had to be switched to open surgery during the procedure, because of problems doing the procedure or because cancer was suspected

  • 14 patients developed an infection at the laparoscopy wound site

  • 4 patients developed an abscess in the abdomen; in 3 patients the abscess was drained and 1 patient needed another operation to treat the abscess

  • 2 patients had problems emptying their bladder and 4 patients had problems emptying their bowel after the procedure

  • 1 patient had bleeding after the procedure, which needed further treatment

  • 9 patients had a collapse of all or part of the lung (this can happen after having a general anaesthetic, or may have been caused by the gas used during the laparoscopy)

  • 3 patients had a build-up of clear bodily fluid in the place where the polyp had been removed.

If you want to know more about the studies see the guidance. Ask your health professional to explain anything you don't understand.

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