Primer: Applying the new postpolypectomy surveillance guidelines in clinical practice

Charles J. Kahi, Douglas K. Rex

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

9 Scopus citations


Colonoscopy is being increasingly used for colorectal cancer screening, which has resulted in a growing cohort of patients who have polyps that require postpolypectomy surveillance. Risk stratification enables postpolypectomy surveillance to be tailored to individual patient needs, and this is one of the fundamental points emphasized by the unified US Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer and the American Cancer Society (USMSTF-ACS) guidelines. Most patients do not require intensive surveillance; those patients who have one or two small (<1 cm) adenomas can safely undergo repeat colonoscopy after 5-10 years. Consensus guidelines that merge the recommendations of all societies are more user-friendly than individual guidelines, decrease confusion, and eliminate conflicting recommendations that are a barrier to guideline uptake. Nonetheless, studies have shown that specialists and nonspecialists overutilize colonoscopy for postpolypectomy surveillance, which places a large burden on already strained resources. Barriers to guideline implementation include factors involving the patient, physician, and health-care system. Physician education and widespread implementation of continuous quality improvement programs are required to bridge the gap between the guidelines and their clinical application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)571-578
Number of pages8
JournalNature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

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