By Glenn D. Madokoro, MD
February 17, 2015
Category: Gastroenterologist
Tags: Polyps  

Hearing your doctor say that you have polyps can be very frightening. What are polyps? Are polyps dangerous? Thankfully, the diagnosis is generally nowhere near as bad as it sounds. Read on to learn more about polyps and how endoscopy from Glenn D. Madokoro, MD in Newport Beach can help you achieve your maximum health.

What are Polyps?

Polyps are small tissue growths that can be found on any organ. The most common locations for polyps include the colon and the uterus, though they can be found in the nose, ear and stomach as well. Polyps can range in size from smaller than a quarter to several inches across, and you can have none, one or several.

Generally, polyps are not dangerous by themselves. Some types of polyps can be or become cancerous, however, so if your doctor finds one in your body, he or she will likely refer you to a specialized endoscopy professional, such as Dr. Madokoro in Newport Beach.

What Causes Polyps?

While polyps are relatively common, doctors are still uncertain as to what causes them. Doctors do know that age is the biggest risk factor and genetics may play a role as well. While few young adults have polyps, as many as one quarter of all senior citizens may have them at some point.

How are Polyps Identified?

Because most polyps cause no symptoms, doctors recommend that people come in for regular screenings, especially as they age. It is at these routine screenings that doctors will inspect the most at-risk parts of the body for any signs or symptoms of an abnormality.

How are Polyps Treated?

While most polyps are not dangerous, your doctor will want to check to make sure. If Dr. Madokoro finds a polyp, he will remove the polyp and have it biopsied to determine if it is cancerous, pre-cancerous or benign. Polyps are typically removed either with wire loop biopsy forceps or by burning them at the base with an electric current. Both procedures are routine and low-risk.

If your polyp is found to be benign, Dr. Madokoro will likely recommend future monitoring just to make sure that you stay well. The interval of time between screenings will vary from a few months to a few years, depending on the severity and number of the polyps that were found. If your polyp is found to be cancerous, Dr. Madokoro will discuss your treatment options with you from there.

Most polyps are not a cause for concern, but it's always better to be safe than sorry. Be sure to visit your doctor for regular screenings and don't be afraid to visit Dr. Madokoro in Newport Beach for endoscopy treatment if needed.