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What is a Colon Polyp?

Concerned about colon polyps? Here’s what you need to know.

Maybe you just heard from a friend that they detected colon polyps during their last colonoscopy. Now you’re wondering if this is something that you should get done. Everyone should start getting routine colonoscopies at least once every ten years by the time they reach 50 years old (our Newport Beach, CA, gastroenterologist Dr. Glenn Madokoro may recommend earlier if you are at high risk for colorectal cancer or polyps). Here are answers to the top questions we get about colon polyps.

Are colon polyps cancerous?

While polyps are usually not cancerous, some do have the ability to turn into cancer, which is why our Newport Beach, CA, gastroenterologist will remove the polyps during your colonoscopy as a preventive measure.

Do colon polyps cause symptoms?

Polyps are actually surprisingly common, but many people don’t even realize that they have them. In fact, polyps rarely cause symptoms. This is another reason why everyone (both men and women) should get routine colonoscopies; however, in some cases, patients with colon polyps may experience,

  • Blood in the stool
  • Black stools (if the polyps are bleeding)
  • Lightheadedness and fatigue
  • Anemia (caused by bleeding)
  • Unexplained abdominal pain

What puts someone at risk for developing colon polyps?

This is something that can develop in anyone; however, you may be more likely to deal with polyps if you are over 50 years old, you have a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, you’ve been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (e.g. Crohn’s disease; ulcerative colitis) or you are obese. Those who smoke or have uncontrolled type 2 diabetes are also at risk.

How are colon polyps detected?

The most common procedure used to detect and remove polyps is a colonoscopy. This procedure is performed right here in our office under conscious sedation. Once the sedation has taken effect, we will guide the scope into the rectum and through the colon. If polyps are detected during the procedure, we also have special tools that can be inserted into the scope to remove the tissue. Most colonoscopies take anywhere from 20-30 minutes but may take longer if we need to remove polyps.

If you have questions or concerns about colon polyps, or if you need to schedule a colonoscopy at our Newport Beach, CA, practice, call us today at (949) 548-8800.

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