Polyps are abnormal growths protruding from the lining of the large intestine, colon or rectum into the intestinal canal (lumen). Approximately 15-20% of the adult population is affected by colon and rectal polyps, and although the majority of polyps are benign, there is a scientifically proven relationship between the presence of certain polyps to colorectal cancer. While most polyps are asymptomatic, some can cause mucous discharge, bleeding, and changes in bowel function.
There are a number of diagnostic tests that can be utilized to detect polyps of the colon and rectum:
- Rigid Sigmoidoscopy: no sedation required, examines the lower 6-8 inches of the large intestine
- Flexible Sigmoidoscopy: no sedation required, examines the lower one-fourth to one-third of the colon
- Colonoscopy: requires sedation and bowel preparation and allows for examination of the entire colon
- Barium Enema: involves the use of a barium solution to coat the lining of the colon before taking x-rays to determine whether polyps are present
As it is not possible to ascertain whether or not a polyp is (or will become) malignant, all polyps should be removed after they have been discovered. Although most polyps can be removed with the use of a coagulating electrical current or a wire loop passed through the endoscopy instrument, polyps of a certain size or position may require surgical removal. It is rare for a polyp to reoccur after it has been removed; however, at least 30% of patients will develop new polyps, which is why regular detection screenings are essential.
For additional information, please use the following link: Polyps of the Colon and Rectum
At Pinnacle Colon and Rectal Surgeons, Dr. Ann L. Kalhorn and Dr. Eugene M. Kim are well respected and board certified colon and rectal surgeons. They have received specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions pertaining to the colon, rectum and anus. We work collaboratively with you to ease painful symptoms and ensure the safe and successful resolution of your colorectal issues. If you would like additional information about treatment, please contact our office today. We look forward to speaking with you and to scheduling your consultation with Dr. Kalhorn or Dr. Kim.