Polyps

Polyps are abnormal growths from the lining of the colon. They vary in size from a tiny dot to several inches. The majority of polyps are benign, but it can be difficult to discern whether a polyp is benign or cancerous by its outer appearance alone. Therefore polyps are removed and analyzed microscopically. Removal of colon polyps is an important means of preventing colon cancer, as the majority of cancers develop from polyps.

Our team is available for second opinion consultations for anyone who wishes to confirm a diagnosis or discuss treatment options.

Treatment for Polyps in the Colon and Rectum

Tiny polyps may be completely destroyed by biopsy. Larger polyps are removed by a technique called snare polypectomy, in which a wire loop is passed through the colonoscope and the polyps are cut from the intestinal wall by means of a small electrical current.

Surgeons in the Division of Colorectal Surgery use minimally invasive approaches to remove large polyps and those located in difficult areas of the colon and rectum not amenable to removable by traditional techniques. Our surgeons have expertise in advanced endoscopic polypectomy techniques, laparoscopic surgery, transanal endoscopy microsurgery (TEMS), and endoanal procedures for difficult rectal polyps. These options may enable our team to avoid the need for surgical operation in many cases, and limit the invasiveness of the required procedure, even when operation is required.

Patients at other centers who have been diagnosed with polyps in hard-to-access areas of the colon and rectum are encouraged to request a second opinion consultation with our specialists to determine whether a minimally invasive approach may be appropriate.

Screening for Polyps

Outpatient screening colonoscopy for the detection and management of polyps in the colon and rectum is performed in our dedicated endoscopy suite. For patients wishing to avoid sedation during colonoscopy, sedation-free colonoscopy is available and allows rapid return to activity. We use a multidisciplinary approach, in conjunction with genetic counseling, to assess and screen individuals at high-risk of polyps and cancer such as those with polyposis, hereditary cancer syndromes, and a genetic predisposition.