Medical student project opportunity: reducing the carbon footprint of endoscopy processing

Dr Sabina Beg (consultant gastroenterologist) and Dr Karl King Yong (gastroenterology registrar) are planning to look into ways to reduce the carbon footprint from endoscopy biopsy processing. They would like to assess their current practice of sending colonic polyps from colonoscopy in different specimen pots to the pathology department. At present, their practice is to send polyps, regardless of size, in different pots for histological assessment depending on its position in the colon, which is meant to facilitate a more accurate segmental identification on repeat colonoscopy should one of these polyps comes back as high grade dysplasia or malignant. However, small polyps (<10mm) are rarely malignant, so it may make sense to send them all in one specimen pot to the lab.

They have managed to extract all endoscopies from the reporting system, Scorpio, and would like to look at all the colonic polyps detected and removed from St Mary’s endoscopy department in 2019 (pre-COVID). It is estimated they have sent approximately 2,800 polyps for assessment in that year. They would like to interrogate each polyp further e.g. size, locations, benign, high grade dysplasia, malignant, number of pots sent.

They are seeking help from medical students in this large scale project which will undoubtedly provide valuable data that will change national practice. Most importantly, it will lead to a significant reduction in the process’s carbon footprint and associated Greenhouse Gas emissions.

To express your interest and for further details, please contact Dr Sabina Beg ( and/or Dr Karl King Yong (