Anyone can develop colon polyps, which are growths in the large intestine (colon), and appear on the inner lining of the colon. Since the majority of polyps do not show symptoms, they commonly go untreated until they are discovered during a colonoscopy. It is important to treat polyps as they can become malignant and lead to colon cancer. The doctors at Colon & Rectal Surgical Specialists of New York offer colon polyps treatment at our Garden City, NY, and East Setauket, NY, practice.
Signs and Symptoms
Only a small percentage of polyps cause symptoms. When they do, the signs usually are the result of bleeding from the polyp and may include:
- Mixture of blood in the stool
- Black stool (caused by substantial bleeding from the polyp)
- Iron deficiency, causing light-headedness, increased heart rate, fainting, and pale skin
Why Treatment is Important
Colon polyps discovered in the early stages can often be removed and eliminated. As polyps can metastasize into colon cancer it is important to undergo regular screenings, especially if you are over 50 or there is a history of colon cancer in your family. Apart from improving the chances of early discovery, screenings can also help in determining the type of polyp, which can predict if there is a chance of developing cancer in the future. The different types of colon polyps include:
Adenomatous Polyps: These polyps are the most common type and constitute about two-thirds of all cases. Although only a small percentage of this type of will become cancerous, it is still important to be diagnosed and treated in time because it is the most common type to metastasize into malignant growths.
Inflammatory Polyps: These types of polyps may supersede intestinal diseases such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. Although the polyps do not have a high risk of developing cancer, prior disease may increase the chances of these polyps turning malignant.
Hyperplastic Polyps: The second most common type of polyp is typically located in the ascending colon. Although this type of polyp is usually no cause for concern, it may be difficult to distinguish from the more concerning, adenomatous polyps.
While most colon polyps do not become cancerous, the risks increase when they become larger and group into clusters.
The Removal Procedure
A polypectomy, or polyp removal, is a safe and commonly performed procedure completed using a colonoscope at our practice. During the surgical procedure we will either snip the small pieces of tissue, or if the polyp is larger, we may wrap it in a noose or snare, and burn through it with electrocautery.
Schedule Your Examination Today
During your examination, we will thoroughly check for any irregularities, polyps, and additional intestinal concerns. Even if you are not currently experiencing any noticeable symptoms, it is still important to be examined to take preventive care of your overall health. To learn more about how we treat colon polyps, and to schedule your screening, please contact our office today.