Surgical Endoscopy

, Volume 29, Issue 10, pp 2947–2952 | Cite as

Management of sessile malignant polyps: is colonoscopic polypectomy enough?

  • Xian-rui Wu
  • Jennifer Liang
  • James M. ChurchEmail author



The role of endoscopy in the management of malignant-pedunculated polyps has been well studied, but endoscopic management of malignant sessile polyps has not. Sometimes patients with malignant sessile polyps have comorbidities that make surgery exceptionally risky, and endoscopy beckons as a definitive management option. The aim of this study is to evaluate the potential role of endoscopy in the management of malignant sessile polyps.


Patients undergoing colonoscopic polypectomy for malignant sessile polyps by a single endoscopist from 1997 to 2010 were evaluated. Demographic data, clinicopathological variables as well as long-term outcomes were recorded.


Sixteen patients had malignant sessile polyps. Six (37.5 %) were male and 10 (62.5 %) were female. Mean age at diagnosis was 72.9 ± 12.2 years. Six polyps were proximal to the splenic flexure (37.5 %) and 10 (62.5 %) were distal. The mean size of the polyps was 30.5 ± 15.9 mm. All polyps were removed endoscopically but 7 patients (43.8 %) had formal colectomy following colonoscopic resection. There were no demographic differences between patients with and without surgery. Piecemeal polypectomy was necessary in 8 patients, 4 from the surgery group, and 4 from the endoscopy group. More patients in the surgery group had poorly differentiated cancers (4/6 vs. 0/6) and incomplete margins (5/6 vs. 1/6) and more patients in the endoscopically treated group had serious comorbidity (5/9 vs. 3/7). There was no procedure-related morbidity or mortality. After a mean follow-up of 48.4 ± 27.2 months, one patient from the polypectomy group patient had a local recurrence and a liver metastasis, after originally declining surgery. In the surgery group, one patient had lung metastasis. The two patients who recurred with distant metastasis died.


Endoscopic management of sessile colorectal polyps appears to be feasible and safe in patients with well/moderately differentiated cancer and negative margins. Larger studies are needed to confirm these findings.


Colonoscopy Sessile malignant polyps Outcomes 



This project was partially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81400603).


Drs. Xianrui Wu, Jennifer Liang, and James M. Church have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Colorectal SurgeryThe Sixth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Colorectal Surgery, Digestive Disease InstituteThe Cleveland Clinic FoundationClevelandUSA

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