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Emergency Medical Minute


Jun 12, 2019

Author:  Nick Hatch, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • Postpolypectomy electrocoagulation syndrome (PES) is a rare complication of polypectomy and electrocautery during colonoscopy
  • Occurs when cautery causes transmural thickening from a contact burn
  • Patients can present as if they have peritonitis, with guarding, leukocytosis, fever, etc.
  • CT is the imaging of choice mainly to evaluate for bowel perforation as PES may not be seen on imaging
  • Treatment is often with antibiotics and supportive care - in severe cases, hospitalization may be required.


Benson BC, Myers JJ, Laczek JT. Postpolypectomy electrocoagulation syndrome: a mimicker of colonic perforation. Case Rep Emerg Med. 2013;2013:687931. doi: 10.1155/2013/687931. Epub 2013 Jul 15. PubMed PMID: 23956889; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3728495.

Summarized by Will Dewispelaere, MS4 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD