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.
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.