Colorectal Polyps in Tulsa, OK
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What are colorectal polyps?
Colorectal polyps, occasionally called colon polyps, are a common medical condition among adult individuals. The term “colorectal” references the colon and the rectum. Many conditions which affect the colon also include the rectum, which is why they are often mentioned together. A colorectal polyp is a small growth that develops in the inner lining of the colon or rectum.
Polyps by themselves are commonly no cause for concern and usually do not result in symptoms. However, colon polyps should be treated since they can, over time, become cancerous. To confirm a suspicion of colon polyps, the GI doctors at Adult Gastroenterology Associates regularly provide colonoscopy exams. Please contact one of our locations to set up a colonoscopy in Tulsa, OK.
What causes colon and rectal polyps?
Colorectal polyps present when cells divide or grow more than they should. The medical community is still unsure why this occurs, but there are relationships and risk factors that are common among those with colon or rectal polyps.
Risk factors for colorectal polyps include:
- Genetic history
- Personal history of colorectal polyps
- Being over 45 years of age
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohn's disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Tobacco use
- “Typical Western diet” (low fiber, high fat)
Inherited genetic conditions can raise an individual's risk of colorectal polyps. Such conditions may include:
- Lynch syndrome
- Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)
- Peutz-Jeghers syndrome
- Gardner’s syndrome
- MYH-associated polyposis (MAP)
- Serrated polyposis syndrome
What are the symptoms of colorectal polyps?
Many instances of colorectal polyps do not present with symptoms. If symptoms of colorectal polyps are being experienced, some of the most prevalent include:
- Bloody stool
- Diarrhea (lasting more than a week)
- Abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath
- Iron deficiency anemia
If you are experiencing any combination of the symptoms above, are 45 or older, or have a family history of colorectal polyps or colon cancer and are in the Tulsa, OK area, contact our team for more information on screening for colorectal cancer.
What does it mean polyps are found during a colonoscopy?
It is common to find polyps during the course of a colonoscopy. Often, polyps are not cancerous (benign). Polyps located through a colonoscopy will usually be removed during the exam (polypectomy) and tested for cancer. If your colon or rectal polyps are determined to be noncancerous, your doctor will likely advise routine screenings for colon cancer in the future. If a polyp is diagnosed as malignant (cancerous), you and your Adult Gastroenterology Associates provider will determine a plan for the ideal steps moving forward.
The main way to treat colon polyps is by removing them. During a colonoscopy (or flexible sigmoidoscopy), polyps in the rectum and colon can be excised with a polypectomy. In less common situations, a portion or all of the colon may require removal.
Colorectal Polyps FAQs
Are colon polyps an inherited condition?
Carrying a family history of colorectal polyps can increase your personal chance of developing this health concern. Some variations of polyps can have a hereditary association and be more prevalent among members of the same family. Consult your gastrointestinal physician about your medical and family history of colon polyps to evaluate your risk and determine your frequency of colon cancer screenings.
Will colorectal polyps grow back after removal?
Generally, it is uncommon for a colon polyp to return once excised. However, some patients may have new polyps arise in other parts of the colon or rectum. For this reason, it is important to schedule periodic screenings for colorectal cancer as prescribed by your provider.
Can colorectal polyps be prevented from developing?
It may not be possible to keep polyps from occurring, particularly if you are at an elevated risk because of genetics. But maintaining a healthy lifestyle may help minimize the chance of colorectal polyps. This can include following a balanced diet, avoiding tobacco use, consuming alcohol in moderation, and getting plenty of exercise. Undergoing routine colonoscopy screenings upon turning age 45 can also help reduce the chance of polyp development.
How long is the recovery period following colorectal polyp removal?
The majority of patients need about a week to recover following a polypectomy during a colonoscopy procedure. Our Adult Gastroenterology Associates team will provide you with post-op instructions on what you can expect during the recovery period and when you can resume your normal daily activities.
Get treatment for colorectal polyps
Colon and rectal polyps can be identified, extracted, and assessed for cancer through a routine colonoscopy. To find out more about colorectal polyps and how they can be detected and removed, please contact one of our gastroenterology practices in the Tulsa, OK area. As a physician-led network of GI specialists, Adult Gastroenterology Associates strives to deliver a personalized patient experience, no matter your digestive needs.
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