Peri-operative colonoscopy detects synchronous tumours in patients with colorectal cancers

M. Sugrue, R. Black, J. Watts, C. Rich, J. Toouli

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10 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to assess the value of colonoscopy as a pen‐operative investigation in patients treated for colorectal cancer by surgical excision. Patients (134 male, 83 female) undergoing curative resection for colorectal carcinoma between August 1984 and January 1989 had colonoscopy within 3 months of surgery. Eleven patients (5%) had a synchronous cancer, which was diagnosed by colonoscopy in eight. In six of these eight, the diagnosis was made after surgery and 3 patients needed a second colectomy. However, in 3 patients the synchronous cancer was removed endoscopically without the need for further surgical resection. Most synchronous cancers had an earlier pathological stage than the index tumour. The rate of synchronous cancers was higher in patients with synchronous benign polyps (16%) than in those without polyps (3%). Colonoscopy is clearly justified as a peri‐operative investigation in all patients undergoing potentially curative resection of colorectal cancer. If possible, the examination should be carried out prior to surgery, to guide the extent of resection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-28
Number of pages4
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • colonoseopy
  • colorectal cancer
  • polyp
  • synchronous cancer.


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