What Are the Different Methods of Polyp Removal?

Erin J. Hill

The various methods of polyp removal usually involve surgery, which entails either cutting or burning the polyp away. Exact means for removal will depend on where the polyp or polyps are located. Occasionally, polyps may be left alone to see if they grow or disappear without treatment over time.

Colon polyps can be removed during a colonoscopy or by traditional surgery.
Colon polyps can be removed during a colonoscopy or by traditional surgery.

Polyps are growths which can occur in the colon, uterus, or nasal passages. They are usually considered benign, although some polyps have the potential to become cancerous if left alone. This is especially true of polyps found in the colon.

Polyps can be removed during a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy, and sent to the lab to be biopsied.
Polyps can be removed during a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy, and sent to the lab to be biopsied.

Commonly, colon polyp removal involves cleaning the digestive tract of all fecal matter through an enema or similar method. Once this is done, the doctor inserts a colonoscope for seeing his way into the colon. A loop is then attached and wrapped around the polyp until it cuts through it at the base. The remaining lesion is then repaired using an electrical current. In some cases, a more traditional surgery may be needed.

Abdominal pain may be a sign of a uterine polyp.
Abdominal pain may be a sign of a uterine polyp.

Intrauterine polyp removal typically involves dilating the cervix and scraping the polyps out of the uterus using a cutting device. The tissues can then be examined to ensure they are not cancerous. Signs of uterine growths may include abdominal pain, cramping, abnormal bleeding between periods, or heavier than normal periods.

An ultrasound can be used to detect a colon polyp.
An ultrasound can be used to detect a colon polyp.

Occasionally, polyps may occur in the nasal passages. These are often not harmful and sometimes they require no treatment. When nasal polyp removal is needed, it can be done in one of two ways. Herbal remedies or creams can be added to the growths and they may eventually disappear over time, or a doctor can cut out the polyps surgically.

Unless nasal polyps are unusually large and begin blocking airways, they are generally not considered dangerous. They rarely indicate any serious medical conditions, and they are usually not pre-cancerous as colon or uterine polyps. Nevertheless, they should be examined by a doctor in order to rule out another medical conditions, and to ensure that they don’t eventually hinder breathing.

Most polyp removal procedures are considered minor and they cause no long-term side effects or damage to the patient. As with all surgeries, occasionally reactions or infections may take place. Each patient should discuss all removal options with his or her doctor prior to undergoing any operation or procedure.

The presence of nasal polyps may result in discolored nasal mucus.
The presence of nasal polyps may result in discolored nasal mucus.

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