Assessing colon polypectomy competency and its association with established quality metrics

Anna M. Duloy*, Tonya R. Kaltenbach, Rajesh N. Keswani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Background and Aims: Inadequate polypectomy leads to incomplete resection, interval colorectal cancer, and adverse events. However, polypectomy competency is rarely reported, and quality metrics are lacking. The primary aims of this study were to assess polypectomy competency among a cohort of gastroenterologists and to measure the correlation between polypectomy competency and established colonoscopy quality metrics (adenoma detection rate and withdrawal time). Methods: We conducted a prospective observational study to assess polypectomy competency among 13 high-volume screening colonoscopists at an academic medical center. Over 6 weeks, we made video recordings of ≥28 colonoscopies per colonoscopist and randomly selected 10 polypectomies per colonoscopist for evaluation. Two raters graded the polypectomies by using the Direct Observation of Polypectomy Skills, a polypectomy competency assessment tool, which assesses individual polypectomy skills and overall competency. Results: We evaluated 130 polypectomies. A total of 83 polypectomies (64%) were rated as competent, which was more likely for diminutive (70%) than small and/or large polyps (50%, P =.03). Overall Direct Observation of Polypectomy Skills competency scores varied significantly among colonoscopists (P =.001), with overall polypectomy competency rates ranging between 30% and 90%. Individual skills scores, such as accurately directing the snare over the lesion (P =.02) and trapping an appropriate amount of tissue within the snare (P =.001) varied significantly between colonoscopists. Polypectomy competency rates did not significantly correlate with the adenoma detection rate (r = 0.4; P =.2) or withdrawal time (r = 0.2; P =.5). Conclusions: Polypectomy competency varies significantly among colonoscopists and does not sufficiently correlate with established quality metrics. Given the clinical implications of suboptimal polypectomy, efforts to educate colonoscopists in polypectomy techniques and develop a metric of polypectomy quality are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)635-644
Number of pages10
JournalGastrointestinal endoscopy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology


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