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What Is a Gastric Polyp?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 09 September 2016
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A gastric polyp is an abnormal growth that usually develops in the lining of a person’s stomach. This type of growth is typically small, and most people do not develop symptoms from them. Unfortunately, however, some stomach polyps do grow large enough to cause symptoms. In such a case, a doctor may recommend treatment with antibiotics or surgery. Surgical treatment may be particularly important if a doctor suspects that the polyp could be cancerous; most are benign, however.

Polyps can develop in different parts of the body, including the cervix and the colon. When one develops in the lining of the stomach, however, it is typically referred to as a gastric polyp. Many people who have gastric polyps are unaware of them because they are usually small and unlikely to cause symptoms. In many cases, they are discovered by accident when a doctor is evaluating a patient for another matter. Most are not cancerous, but it is possible for a gastric polyp to contain cancerous cells.

Though many people who have stomach polyps will not have any symptoms as a result of them, they may begin to cause problems as they grow larger. Some of the symptoms stomach polyps cause are those related to stomach upset, such as nausea and vomiting. Some people may also note changes in appetite or develop abdominal pain because of them. An individual may also experience stomach bleeding as a result of the condition.

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In some cases, gastric polyps develop when a person has gastritis, a condition in which the lining of the stomach becomes inflamed or irritated. In such a case, damage to the lining of the stomach may cause the condition. Sometimes an infection is at the root of gastric polyp development. Essentially, the infection causes the stomach lining to become inflamed and means a gastric polyp is more likely to form.

Treatment for a gastric polyp often involves medication to deal with the infection or illness that led to it in the first place. Usually, antibiotics are used for this purpose. As the antibiotics help to resolve the primary condition, the gastric polyp may shrink as well. Surgery may be used in cases that aren’t caused by an infection or gastritis. Surgery is also the treatment method of choice when a doctor needs to examine the growth for signs of cancer. This type of treatment may also prove helpful when a person has multiple or large polyps that do not respond to treatment with medication.

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