Information for the public

There is very little evidence about how well this procedure works or how safe it is. The procedure can be used but only when patients have regular checks to see how well it is working or if it has caused problems. This is because of the concerns about its long-term effectiveness and potential complications.

Colonic polyps are small growths in the wall of the large bowel. Non-lifting polyps are deeper in the wall, so are difficult to remove, and are more likely to become cancerous if left untreated. In endoscopic full thickness removal, a special device is passed through a colonoscope (a thin, flexible tube with a camera on the end that is inserted through the anus into the large bowel), and used to remove the polyp and seal the bowel wall closed afterwards. The aim is to remove polyps in deeper layers of the bowel without leaving a hole in the bowel.

NHS Choices may be a good place to find out more. NICE’s information on interventional procedures guidance has more about what a procedure is and how we assess them.

Is this procedure right for me?

If you’ve been offered this procedure, your healthcare professionals should discuss with you what is involved, and tell you about the risks and benefits. They should talk with you about your options, and listen carefully to your views and concerns. Your family can be involved too, if you wish. All of this should happen before you agree (consent) to have the procedure. You should also be told how to find more information about the procedure. Read more about making decisions about your care.

Some questions to think about

  • What does the procedure involve?
  • What are the possible benefits? How likely am I to get them?
  • What are the risks or side effects? How likely are they?
  • What happens if the procedure doesn’t work or something goes wrong?
  • What happens if I don’t want the procedure? Are there other treatments available?

ISBN: 978-1-4731-2500-1

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