Colon polyps are growths that form on the surface of the large intestine or colon. An individual may have only one polyp or several. These polyps may be flat or raised up like bumps and can possibly be cancerous. Your physician can perform a procedure to find these polyps and to remove them.
Things You'll Need
- Scope with a light
Get a sigmoidoscopy. This procedure only shows about the last third of the colon and the rectum. By doing this, polyps can be detected here. But it doesn't show the entire colon where other polyps may be. This is safe and the patient can be awake or asleep.
Get a colonoscopy. This procedure is fairly safe and shows the doctor all of your colon. The doctor uses a scope to examine the colon. At the end of this scope is a light. This light shows more clearly the inside of your colon. The doctor also uses this scope to push a wire through if necessary to use. This is the only procedure that shows any signs of polyps or polyps themselves.
Find the polyps. During a colonoscopy, the doctor can see these polyps. There are two different kinds of polyps. The first one is like a mushroom. It has a stem attached to the wall of the colon. The second looks as if someone took paint and splattered it on the wall of the colon. Physicians do not know why polyps develop, but they do know that they can lead to cancer. Polyps may contain cancerous cells.
Remove the polyps during a colonoscopy. If doctor finds a polyp, he will remove it. He will take the scope he's using and insert a looped wire through it. Then he will loop it around the polyp. During this procedure, he will cauterize it to keep it from bleeding. The polyp is then cut and removed. It will be sent to a lab for tests to check for cancer. This procedure to remove a polyp is called a polypectomy. It is fairly safe, and the patient can be awake or asleep.
Remove the polyps via a laparoscopic surgery. For those polyps that can not be removed through a colonoscopy, this procedure is done with minimal invasion to the body. The doctor makes incisions on the abdomen and inserts scopes with lights and remove the polyps. The section of the colon that has the polyp is removed. The patient is asleep during this surgery.
Tips & Warnings
- Eat a high fiber diet and lots of fresh fruits and vegetable. This will help lower your risk of colon cancer.
- Keep up with regular checkups, especially if cancer runs in your family. Polyps develop when you don't even know you have them and they can be cancerous.
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