Colorectal Polyps in St. Louis, MO

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Colon polyps, sometimes called colon polyps, are often found in adults. The word “colorectal” speaks to the colon and the rectum. Several health conditions that affect the colon many times also affect the rectum, which is the reason they are many times referenced together. A colorectal polyp is a polyp that exists in either the rectum or the colon. A colon or rectal polyp is a growth consisting of a grouping of cells on the lining of your colon or rectum.

Polyps alone are often harmless and typically do not cause symptoms; however, colon polyps should be addressed because they can, over time, turn cancerous. To obtain a diagnosis for colorectal polyps, the gastrointestinal specialists at a Specialists in Gastroenterology location in your community often perform colonoscopy procedures. Connect with our team at one of our Houston,TX locations to learn more about scheduling a colonoscopy for a colorectal polyp removal.

Colon polyps develop when cells experience more division or growth than normal. The medical community remains undecided as to why this occurs, but, there are connections and risk factors that are associated with people who have colon or rectal polyps.

Common risk factors for colon and/or polyps include:

  • Being over 45 years of age
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Obesity
  • Tobacco use
  • Having a family or personal history of colon or rectal polyps
  • High consumption of alcohol
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn's disease
  • “Typical Western diet” (high fat, low fiber)

Inherited genetic conditions can increase the risk of contending with colon or rectal polyps. Those conditions could include:

  • Serrated polyposis syndrome
  • MYH-associated polyposis (MAP)
  • Gardner’s syndrome
  • Peutz-Jeghers syndrome
  • Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)
  • Lynch syndrome

Many cases of colorectal polyps will not present any symptoms. If symptoms are being experienced, some of the most prevalent indications of colon polyps include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Diarrhea (lasting longer than one week)
  • Bloody stool
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Exhaustion

If you experience any of the above symptoms, are 45 years of age or above, or have a family history of colorectal polyps or colon cancer and are in the St. Louis, MO area, please reach out to us to learn more about screening for colon cancer.

It is not unusual to detect polyps while undergoing a colonoscopy, and many times, polyps are benign. Polyps found while undergoing a colonoscopy will typically be extracted during the course of a colonoscopy and assessed for cancer. In the event that your colon polyps are diagnosed as non-malignant, then your provider will likely recommend routine screenings for colon cancer going forward. If a polyp is diagnosed as cancerous, you and your Specialists in Gastroenterology provider will discuss the most advantageous next steps.

The main approach to treating colon polyps is by excising them. During a colonoscopy (or flexible sigmoidoscopy), polyps in your colon and rectum can be removed in conjunction with a procedure known as a polypectomy. In extreme situations, part or the entirety of your colon or rectum may need to be removed.

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Are colon polyps a hereditary condition?

A family history of colorectal polyps can heighten your own risk of developing this GI condition. Certain forms of polyps can carry a hereditary correlation and be more likely to occur among members of the same family. Consult your GI doctor regarding your health and any family history with colon polyps to review your risk and the need for colon cancer tests.

Will colorectal polyps grow back?

Generally, it is unusual for a colorectal polyp to grow back once it has been thoroughly excised. However, some individuals may have new polyps in other portions of the colon (large intestine) or rectum. As such, it is important to schedule periodic colorectal cancer screenings as advised by your doctor.

Can colorectal polyps be prevented?

It might not be possible to keep colorectal polyps from occurring, particularly if you have an increased risk because of your family history. However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle may help decrease the risk of these polyps. This can include consuming a healthy diet, avoiding the use of tobacco, limiting the consumption of alcohol, and getting enough exercise. Undergoing periodic colonoscopies when you turn 45 can also help decrease this risk.

How long the recovery period after colorectal polyp removal?

On average, most individuals need approximately seven days to recuperate following polyp removal during a colonoscopy exam. Our Specialists in Gastroenterology team will review post-operative instructions on what to anticipate during recovery and when you can resume your normal, daily activities.

Colorectal polyps can be identified, removed, and tested for cancer during a routine colonoscopy procedure. As a physician-led group of gastroenterology providers, Specialists in Gastroenterology works hard to provide a personalized patient experience. To find out more about colon and rectal polyps and how they might be located and excised, please reach out to one of our gastroenterology locations in St. Louis, MO today.

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