Clips for managing perforation and bleeding after colorectal endoscopic mucosal resection

Introduction: The most commonly used treatment for advanced colorectal adenomas is endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR). The increased number of EMRs since the introduction of the screening program for colorectal cancer has resulted in an increase in EMR-related complications. This review summarizes the current knowledge for the use of clips for the treatment and prevention of complications after EMR.

Areas covered: The historical development of clips is summarized and their properties are evaluated. An overview is presented of the evidence for therapeutic and prophylactic clipping for bleeding or perforation after EMR in the colon. Several clipping techniques are discussed in relation to the efficacy of wound closure. Furthermore, new techniques that will likely influence the use of clips in the future endoscopic practice, such as endoscopic full-thickness resection (eFTR) are also highlighted.

Expert commentary: Most research focuses on prophylactic clipping for delayed bleeding after EMR of large adenomas. We advocate a distance of 0.5–1.0 cm between aligning clips. This focus may likely shift from bleeding to perforation. Here, endoscopic treatment with through-the-scope clips and large-diameter clips may well replace surgery. The future role of clips will also depend on the further development of new endoscopic technologies, such as eFTR.