Polypectomy: Treatment and Procedure

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Polypectomy is a fast and painless procedure which your doctor might advise after discovering the existence of Polyps inside your body. What exactly are Polyps? When mutations occur in certain cells of our body, it causes unregulated growth and division of cells in a particular area. A polyp is a cluster of such cells. Polyps most often occur in the Colon or in the Uterus but can also be found in the ears, nose, vocal cords or stomach. Polypectomy is used to treat Polyps in the Colon, uterus or nose. Polypectomy can also be used to extract polyps from inside different parts of the body, but colon polypectomy is the most common procedure.

Most individuals may live their life with polyps and experience no symptoms of them. They can live with normal bowel functions in the case of colon polyp’s, the most commonly found type. However, there does exist some possibility of a polyp developing into a tumour over a number of years, although these chances are low, they can depend on a variety of factors. This is why Colon polypectomy is an easy and painless procedure that can routinely clear the chances of any risk that an individual might face in the future. Polyps can be placed into several categories based on their size, shape, and nature:

  • Adenomatous polyps: These polyps are benign growths, chances or these growths becoming malignant or cancerous is only 6%. Although genetics and other factors may play a role as well
  • Hyperplastic polyps: These are smaller sized polyps and are most common. Chances of these developing into cancer are extremely rare
  • Inflammatory polyps:  Inflammatory polyps also have little or no chance of developing into malignant tumours, however, they are found in people with Crohns’s disease or ulcerative colitis. They are also known as pseudopolyps, as rather than being true polyps are just a chronic reaction to inflammation.
  • Tubulovillous Adenoma: These types of polyps carry a much higher risk of turning into cancer.
  • Complex Polyps: Polyps are referred to as complex polyps when their size exceeds greater than 2 centimeters, and is in an unfavorable location for removal. Any polyp the doctor feels they cannot safely remove is referred to as a complex polyp.

Most patients do not experience symptoms of colon polyps, which is why a number of tests are required in order to determine whether a patient has polyps or other conditions which could have similar symptoms. In rare cases, patients might experience a number of symptoms for colon polyp’s such as:

  • Bleeding from rectum
  • Change in colour of stools
  • Iron deficiency
  • Chronic Constipation
  • Chronic Diarrhoea

Another fairly common type of Polyp is uterine polyps, which also require Polypectomy. The cause of uterine Polyp is believed to be caused by fluctuation of hormones, primarily oestrogen. Women suffering from uterine polyps may experience side effects such as:

  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Unusually heavy flow during periods
  • Infertility
  • Vaginal spotting or bleeding post menopause

These symptoms are very uncommon, and most people who discover polyps do so in a routine check-up, such as a Colonoscopy, or during a check-up scan in which the doctor discovers the existence of Polyps. Uterine polyps are discovered similarly. The doctor may advise you on the best route forward, but a majority of the time, a doctor may recommend a Polypectomy during the time of the discovery of the Polyps itself. During a colonoscopy, the procedure requires the physician to insert a long flexible tube with a video camera at the end of it known as a colonoscope. The images received from inside the colon and rectum allow the doctor to detect any abnormalities inside the body.

During the procedure, the patient will first be injected with a local or general anesthetic, this is done so that the patient does not experience any pain during the procedure. This is a non-invasive procedure and does not require the doctor to make an incision in order to enter the body. In the case of colon polypectomy, the surgical instruments are inserted through the rectum. In uterine polypectomy, the surgical instruments are inserted through the vagina. The doctor may use a few different techniques in combination to extract the polyps, some are given below:

  • Cold forceps polypectomy: ideal for smaller sized polyps, forceps are used to remove the polyp from its position, a wire is used to remove the remaining portion.
  • Hot forceps polypectomy: similar to cold forceps, this also involves a procedure known as electrocautery, which burns away remaining polyps tissue an cauterizes the wound.
  • Snare Polypectomy: a snare is an instrument that allows the surgeon to loop and grab polyps. This is ideal for larger sized polyps. Snare polypectomy can be hot or cold and electrocautery may be used after removal.

Like all surgical procedures, polypectomy carries with it certain risks, although very unlikely. These are given below:

  • Organ damage: some internal organs could be damaged or perforated during the procedure.
  • Infection: the wounds caused by the removal of the polyps could become infected, especially if the patient does not follow the medical advice given by the doctor
  • Incomplete removal: doctors may sometimes find a complex polyp, a polyp which is harder to access or larger in size. The removal of this polyp may be more difficult.

Polypectomy itself is not a complicated procedure and can assure the patient is temporarily safe from a risk of colon cancer. At Apollo Cradle Jubilee Hills, state of the art equipment allows world-class doctors to conduct routine Colonoscopy’s for patients above 50 who stand most at risk for colon polyps.

Full recovery from Polypectomy may take about two weeks. Patients may feel mild pain after for some duration, especially immediately after the operation these can be aided by pain killers prescribed by your doctor. The polyp that is extracted from Polypectomy is sent to the lab to test whether it is Malignant or Benign. If the polyp is non-cancerous, treatment usually ends here or until the patient has their next colonoscopy. Polypectomy does not ensure that a person will not have polyp’s again, it simply clears the risk of cancer or symptomatic discomfort at the time. Regular check-ups can help a patient stay aware.