Regional Gastrointestinal Consultants

Polypectomy

Polypectomy

WHAT IS A POLYPECTOMY

A polyp is a small sack like growth that can form in the lining of the bowel. Most polyps are harmless but if they are left to grow they can lead to complications, and some forms of polyps can develop into cancer. By removing polyps, your risk of developing bowel cancer or other issues is greatly reduced. The complicated part for most patients when considering addressing polyps, is that polyps do not cause any symptoms, beyond bleeding or changes in bowel habits.

The removal of a polyp is called a polypectomy and can be achieved by using a variety of instruments in the endoscope or colonoscope. If a polyp is found on the left side of your bowel, there is a higher chance of you having polyps on the right side of your bowel. As a flexible sigmoidoscopy, does not reach the right side of your bowel, you may be asked to return on another day for a full colonoscopy, if a polyp is found. A colonoscopy allows the entire large bowel to be examined and any further polyps to be removed.

What happens during a polypectomy

As with many gastrointestinal treatments a flex-sigmoid, colonoscopy and endoscopy are commonly used to access particular regions of the intestines, and for this reason the same procedural structure applies for a polypectomy as with a colonoscopy, endoscopy or flex-sigmoid. Once you are sedated an endoscope or colonoscope will be utilized to remove the polyps.

Most polyps, a snare (wire lasso) is placed around the polyp base and tightened whilst an electric current is passed.  This cuts through the polyp and cauterizes any blood vessels to prevent bleeding.

Flat or very large polyps are generally more difficult to remove.  Sometimes large flat polyps are removed by a technique called EMR (Endoscopic Mucosal Resection).  This involves injecting liquid into the lining of the bowel underneath the polyp.  This raises a bleb under the polyp, lifting it off the lining of the bowel and allows the wire loop snare to capture the polyp. Also, in the event that the polyp it large, but the patient can tolerate bowel surgery due to health conditions, the doctor may choose to remove the colon tumors in pieces with this “piece-meal” approach.

For very small polyps, special forceps (graspers) can be used to hold the polyp whilst the diathermy current is applied, destroying the tissue. The gastroenterologist will try to retrieve the polyp tissue once it has been removed so that it can be analyzed under the microscope in the pathology lab Regardless of the type, the procedure is most commonly performed during a colonoscopy, while you’re under sedation. You will not feel any pain or discomfort during this process.

WHAT TO EXPECT when having a Polypectomy

First, when you arrive at our office you will be welcomed by our thoughtful staff and a dedicated team of experts that deliver personalize care. To add to your comfort level, we strive to keep the same physicians and nursing staff with the patient throughout all your appointments at the center. In this way, the staff gets to understand the patient’s concerns and conditions, and you get to know the persons taking care of you on a personal level.

Also, we strive to make your visit as hassle free as possible. We accurately schedule visits in advance, provide convenient onsite parking, and keep your waiting period to an absolute minimum. This is achieved by the fact that no emergency procedures are placed in front of your scheduled time (such as in most hospitals). Also, we do not double book patient appointments, when you are scheduled to be treated that time is assigned only to you.

When undergoing a polypectomy, this procedure is completed through the use of an endoscopy or colonoscopy, so the same procedural details apply here as with an endoscopy or colonoscopy visit.

  • Before any procedure our staff will meet with you to address any last-minute questions you may have.
  • If are going to have a small intestine polypectomy, and therefore will undergo an endoscopy, you will need to not eat or drink anything after midnight of the eve of your procedure date. In the event that you are having a polypectomy of the large intestine, and therefore will undergo a colonoscopy you will need to be on a clear liquid diet for 24 hours, and use a colo-prep kit about 12 hours before your scheduled appointment.
  • Prior to the procedure you will get changed into one our fresh medical gowns using our private restrooms, or a private patient changing area.
  • Once you have changed into the medical gown you will relax and laydown on a padded procedure gurney and you will be transported a short distance to our modern operating room.
  • In the operating room, you will meet with your gastroenterologist before your procedure to discuss the procedure, if you would like, and thereafter be administered sedation so that the procedure may commence.
    • When being sedated you will receive the highest quality anesthesia, administered by highly experienced professionals who will standby you monitoring your sedation throughout the entire procedure.
  • The procedure itself will take between 15 to 30 minutes.
  • After the procedure, you will be brought back into the post anesthesia recovery area where you will relax until the sedation has worn off.
    • After speaking with most patients about their procedure, patients universally comment (paraphrasing of course); “I remember getting changed, laying on the gurney, meeting with my doctor and waking up waiting for the procedure to start”. Once they find out the procedure was completed already, there is usually a couple chuckles they have with our staff.
  • With all that being said, once you are alert from your anesthesia, fully dressed and comfortable, you will meet with your physician to discuss the procedure results, before heading home.
    • A special note, because you will be sedated for the procedure, you will need to have someone to drive you home even after the sedation has initially worn off, though you may feel fine, your reflexes may be slower than usual until the anesthesia is completely out of your system which can take between 1 to 3 hours after the procedure.
  • Also, most patients can return to a normal eating habits immediately after an endoscopy or colonoscopy.

The most important thing to remember is not to worry! Our gastroenterologist are highly experienced physicians and we have completed thousands of polypectomies, also we supply our gastroenterologist with only the best equipment to increase safety, as well as diagnostic and treatment effectiveness. Last, but certainly not least, please ask any questions you may have of your healthcare team, who will be there for you during and after your procedure, and all of whom are dedicated to ensure you receive the best care possible.

IMPORTANT HEALTH NOTE

We recommend that people experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms do not attempt self-treatment. With many medications being available over the counter, and numerous do-it-yourself online unqualified remedy recommendation, it is natural to consider treating yourself but we highly recommend against this.

If you are experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms you may have a more significant issue than you would expect from the sometimes muted or infrequent symptom you may be experiencing. It is important to keep in mind that is you are having gastrointestinal symptoms or concerns it is best see a doctor to have those symptoms diagnosed and any conditions treated. Also, it is worth noting, that if health conditions do exist, the earlier they are diagnosed and treated, the greater the probability will be to successfully eliminate or manage a present condition, in fact successful outcomes will increase significantly with early detection.

If you have gastrointestinal concerns or are experiencing any gastrointestinal symptoms, please contact us promptly to schedule a consultation with a physician.


DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

The information on this website is to provide general information. In no way, does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a best in class physician regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today at (215) 321-4700 to schedule a consultation.