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Colonic polyps are abnormal growths arising from the inner lining of the large intestine. If not treated, most polyps eventually turn into cancer. You can read more about polyps here.

Colon polyps can be removed via colonoscopy. The procedure is called a polypectomy.

During a colonoscopy, the endoscopist can pass special instruments through small channels within the endoscope to remove such polyps. This should not cause any pain as the inner lining of the colon has no sensation. Any polyps which are removed will be examined under the microscope to determine if they are cancerous or benign.

This excellent animation by the Patient Education Company gives you an idea what a polypectomy is.

This video shows an actual polypectomy. The colon polyp was removed using a special wire lasso called the endo-snare. A special ink was injected into the base of the 2nd polyp as it looked suspicious. This is called a tattoo. If the polyp turns out to be cancerous, at least we will know which part of the large intestine to operate on. Fortunately for the patient, the polyp turned out to be benign.

If the polyp is too large, surgery, or a combination of surgery and colonoscopy can be performed to remove the polyp.

Complications of polypectomy include:

  1. Bleeding
  2. Perforation
  3. Infection

Polyp removal is important, as this can prevent development of colorectal cancer.


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