Don’t Forget to Document Endoscopic Tattoos

Don’t Forget to Document Endoscopic Tattoos

There’s a lot to know when it comes to endoscopic tattooing. For Gastroenterologists, perhaps the most important thing to know is its vital role in the fight against colon cancer through surgical localization1 and long-term clinical surveillance.

Endoscopic tattoos have proven to both decrease time spent in the operating room and greatly improve tumor localization. Not only is tattooing society recommended, it’s also included in the ESGE’s Guidelines for EMR and Polypectomy.2

But as important as the method is, there are also other aspects of tattooing to keep in mind, many of which we’ve covered in our recent guide to tattooing methods.

Find more information on both methods here.

In this post, we have tips on one of the finishing touches of the endoscopic tattooing process ― documentation. Because, as the saying goes, “the devil is in the details.” When it comes to endoscopic tattooing for either surgical localization or for surveillance at follow-up colonoscopy, documenting those details is of the utmost importance.

Here are a few documentation best practices3 to keep in mind:

  • Use text and photo documentation in your reports with unambiguous terminology
  • Document location of the tattoos in relation to the lesion
  • Indicate where and how many tattoos were placed at each area of interest
  • Don’t specify the colonic segment unless you are 100% certain
  • If there are other tattoos in the colon you should describe those and their relationship to the lesion marked for surgery

Finding the time to keep up on the latest advancements in endoscopic tattooing ― from the methods to the latest discoveries and products ― can be a difficult task. That’s why we built an easy-to-use guide that covers FAQs, the methods most frequently used for endoscopic tattooing, and everything else you need to know.

In “A Gastroenterologist’s Guide to Endoscopic Tattooing Methods” we’ve outlined even more best practices to help medical professionals gain an edge in the fight against colon cancer.

Get your copy here:

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1 –  Askin MP, Waye JD, Fiedler L, Harpaz N. Tattoo of colonic neoplasms in 113 patients with a new sterile carbon compound. Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. 2002;56(3):339-342. doi:10.1067/mge.2002.126905.

2 – Ferlitsch M, Moss A, Hassan C, et al. Colorectal polypectomy and endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR): ESGE Clinical Guideline. 2017.

3 –  Rex DK. Driving Patient Safety with Endoscopic Tattooing Gastroenterology and Endoscopy News. May 2015.