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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It may not be necessary for experienced gastroenterologists to send polyps they remove from a patient’s colon to a pathologist for examination, according to a large study conducted by physician researchers at the Jacksonville campus of Mayo Clinic. Their 522-patient study, published in the December issue of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, found that physicians correctly evaluated whether a polyp was precancerous or benign using high-definition optical lenses during a colonoscopy. Their assessment was 96 or 97 percent accurate — depending on which of two generations of scopes was used — compared with a standard pathological evaluation of the polyps. The Mayo Clinic researchers conclude that the pathological polyp examination now required by national practice guidelines may not be necessary — an advance they say could result in substantial cost savings for the patient and the health care system, as well as more rapid information and recommendations for follow-up for the patient.