Introduction Small colonic cancers or polyps can be difficult to identify during laparoscopic surgery, hence the need to tattoo lesions when seen during endoscopic examination. The Joint Advisory Group on GI endoscopy (JAG) have minimal guidance on tattooing. The aim here was to assess the accuracy and frequency of tattooing within our trust with regards to local tattooing policy within our endoscopy unit.
Method Data was retrospectively analysed over a 12 month period between January 2013 – January 2014 in patients undergoing a laparoscopic resection for a colonic lesion. Areas examined looked at frequency of tattooing, site and documentation.
Results 43 patients underwent surgery during this time period. 80% of these were tattooed at the time of endoscopic investigation. Of these only 46% were tattooed according to the unit’s tattooing protocol. 25% of these had no clear documentation as to the method of tattooing. At the time of surgery, in 10% the tattoo was not deemed visible. The conversion rate was not higher in the group that were not tattooed according to local policy in comparison to the group that were (p = 0.8).
Conclusion Huge variability exists in the tattooing methods of the endoscopists within our unit, which quite often does not adhere to local policy. This could potentially result in failure to identify lesions during surgery or resection of an incorrect segment altogether.
Disclosure of interest None Declared.