Endoscopic full-thickness resection (eFTR) in colon and rectum: indications and outcomes in the first 37 cases in a single center

Anders Høgh*, Ulrik Deding, Thomas Bjørsum-Meyer, Niels Buch, Gunnar Baatrup

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Background: Segmental resection of the colon or rectum for cancer is major surgery with substantial procedure-related morbidity and mortality. A steep increase in the frequency of early cancer and advanced adenoma detection has been evident these late years. Introducing more minimal invasive resection techniques may decrease procedure-related complications and mortality. We aimed to describe the results from introducing endoscopic full-thickness resection (eFTR) in a unit specialized in advanced endoscopic resection of colon neoplasias. Primary outcomes were R0 resection rate and complications. Methods: endoscopic full-thickness resection was introduced in our unit in 2017. Patients were referred for eFTR based on indications: (i) completion of resection after unexpected cancer, (ii) suspicion of or clinically confirmed early cancer (T1) without signs of dissemination, or (iii) adenomas not suitable for other endoscopic resection techniques due to difficult position or recurrence. Data on eFTR procedures and follow-up were retrieved from patient journals. Results: Thirty-seven eFTR procedures were commenced in the period of March 2017 until June 2020, and one of these was abandoned. The overall R0 resection rate was 83.3%. In subgroups of indications i–iii, it was 87.5, 80.0, and 80.0%, respectively. Three perforations and one case of late bleeding occurred. One patient died within 30 days due to late perforation. Six technical failures were evident including operator-induced failures. Five of the technical failures occurred in the first half of the procedures indicating the learning curve of the endoscopist. Conclusion: Implementation of the eFTR procedure has been largely successful, especially in patients referred for completion of resection after unexpected cancer. Complication rates were acceptable, and the technique and quality increased significantly during the study. Careful selection of patients for eFTR is crucial for achieving successful resection. Size and position of lesion seem more important than indication. eFTR is not effective for lesions > 30 mm. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
JournalSurgical Endoscopy
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10. May 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Colorectal cancer
  • eFTR
  • Endoscopic full-thickness resection
  • Endoscopic resection
  • Endoscopy


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