Argon Plasma Coagulation (APC)

This procedure allows the gastroenterologist to seal irregular or bleeding tissue. It is performed during a panendoscopy or colonoscopy while the patient is sedated. This procedure involves using argon gas and electrical current to seal irregular or bleeding tissue without any direct contact.

    APC is used in the treatment of conditions such as:
  • Barrett’s oesophagus
  • Oesophageal cancer
  • Rectal bleeding (post radiation proctitis)
  • Colonic polyps
  • Watermelon stomach


This procedure requires intravenous sedation via a small needle to a vein at the back of the hand or in the arm. In some patients the injection may cause a local reaction and sometimes bruising under the skin may occur. But these are usually reversible local reactions and will resolve in a few days.


In some patients, temporary discomfort or pain may occur due to the introduction of air into the stomach or bowel. In rare instances, major complications like perforation (puncture) of the oesophagus, stomach, small bowel or colon can occur. Haemorrhage (bleeding) following removal of polyps, infection, cardiac or respiratory arrest related to sedation/anaesthesia may also occur.

If you wish to discuss the potential risks or any issues regarding your procedure(s) in more detail, please speak with the gastroenterologist.