According to current practice guidelines for performance of colonoscopy in patients requiring long-term anticoagulation, polypectomy is considered a high-risk procedure for which anticoagulation must temporarily be discontinued. However, these guidelines are based on expert opinion, and the bleeding risk after polypectomy in anticoagulated patients is not known.Measure the risk of postpolypectomy bleeding in patients who undergo colonoscopic polypectomy while anticoagulated.Retrospective review of patients who underwent polypectomy without discontinuation of anticoagulation.Veterans Administration Palo Alto Health Care System.Forty-one polypectomies were performed in 21 patients. All patients had been receiving long-term anticoagulation with warfarin; the average international normalized ratio was 2.3 (range 1.4-4.9; normal 0.9-1.2). To prevent supratherapeutic anticoagulation, warfarin was withheld for 36 hours before the procedure while the patients were on a liquid diet. The average polyp size was 5 mm (range 3-10 mm).All patients underwent polypectomy followed immediately by prophylactic application of one or two clips to prevent bleeding.Rate of postpolypectomy bleeding.There were no episodes of postpolypectomy bleeding. The 95% CI for the risk of bleeding was 0% to 8.6% when analyzed per polypectomy and 0% to 15% when analyzed per patient.Small single-center retrospective study.Our experience suggests that small polyps can be removed with a very low risk of bleeding when clips are applied immediately after polypectomy. If these results can be confirmed in a larger multicenter study, our protocol may become an alternative to withholding anticoagulation in patients at high risk of thrombosis.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.gie.2006.02.030
View details for Web of Science ID 000238766600019
View details for PubMedID 16813811