If you have been diagnosed with large colon polyps, it can be unnerving, even frightening. Does the presence of polyps indicate colon cancer? Will you need surgery to correct the problem? Will you experience pain and discomfort from the polyps? Actually, colon polyps, even large ones, do not necessarily mean anything bad.
The term “polyp” is actually nonspecific. It simply indicates a growth found on the inner surface of the large intestine. There are several different types of colon polyps, though, including inflammatory polyps, hyperplastic polyps, and adenomatous polyps.
While certain types of polyps (adenomatous ones) have the possibility of turning into cancer, the vast majority of polyps are not cancers at the time of their diagnosis. Polyps come in many sizes – most are small in general and can easily be removed during a procedure called a colonoscopy . Polyps greater than 1cm in size are considered large and have been shown to have a higher risk of cancer. Thus it is very important to remove them.
Colonoscopy is the gold standard procedure to remove colon polyps. About 30% of men and 20% of women will have a polyp at their first colonoscopy. Most polyps that are found at colonoscopy can be removed with standard endoscopic tools such as a biopsy forceps or metal snare.
However some large polyps may be difficult to remove – partly because of their size and position. Also removing larger polyps may be associated with more risks of complications. Thus some gastroenterologists may refer these types of polyps to be removed at a center with endoscopic expertise in polyp removal, or even for surgery.
Dr. Kedia performs large polyp removal with specialized instruments in a completely minimally invasive fashion. The technique required to remove these lesions is known as endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) – this technique involved injecting fluid under a polyp to raise it up for proper removal. This is an outpatient procedure performed via colonoscopy to removal large polyps with high success and safety. Many patients with large polyps need to be in a surveillance program to watch for any new or redeveloping polyps in the future.
Are you interested in learning more about large colon polyps or other GI disorders? We invite you to contact us to learn more. Dr. Prashant Kedia is a therapeutic endoscopist and gastroenterologist serving patients in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and beyond. Call today to schedule an appointment at (214) 941-6891.