Colorectal Polyps in Ocean Springs, MS

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Colon polyps, occasionally known as colorectal polyps, are a common-place occurrence within adult individuals. The word “colorectal” includes the rectum as well as the colon. Several health situations that affect the colon often also include the rectum, which is why they are typically discussed together. A colon polyp is a polyp that exists in either the colon or the rectum. A colorectal polyp is a growth made up of a group of cells on the lining of your rectum or colon.

Polyps are usually harmless and commonly do not result in symptoms; however, colon polyps need to be treated since they can, over time, present as cancerous. The GI specialists at Digestive Health Center routinely carry out colonoscopy procedures to identify colorectal polyps. Please contact a nearby location to schedule a colonoscopy in Ocean Springs, MS.

Colon polyps form when cells divide or grow more than they should. The medical community remains unsure of why this is the case; regardless, there are relationships and risk factors associated with individuals who present with colorectal polyps.

Some of the risk factors for colorectal polyps include:

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

Inherited genetic conditions can increase a person's risk of developing colorectal polyps. Those conditions may include the following:

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

Frequently, occurrences of colon or rectal polyps are not manifested as symptoms. If symptoms are being experienced, some of the most commonly encountered symptoms of colorectal polyps include:

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

If you are experiencing any combination of the symptoms mentioned above, are 45 years of age or older, or have a family history of colon cancer or colorectal polyps and are in the Ocean Springs, MS area, reach out to our staff about colorectal cancer screenings.

It is not unusual to identify polyps in conjunction with a colonoscopy; these polyps are often not cancerous (benign). Polyps found through a colonoscopy will usually be extracted during your colonoscopy (polypectomy) and tested for cancer. If your colorectal polyps are benign, your provider will likely request regular colon cancer screenings in the future. If any polyp is found to be malignant (cancerous), you and your Digestive Health Center specialist will decide on the appropriate next steps.

The most common method of addressing colorectal polyps is by removing them. During a colonoscopy (or flexible sigmoidoscopy), polyps in your colon and rectum can be removed in a procedure known as a polypectomy. In less common situations, part or all of your colon or rectum may require removal.

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Are colon polyps a genetic condition?

A family history of colorectal polyps can heighten your chance of developing them yourself. Some variations of polyps can carry a genetic link and may be more likely to occur among family members. Consult your gastrointestinal doctor regarding your health and any family history of colorectal polyps to assess your risk and the need for colon and rectal cancer screenings.

Will colorectal polyps grow back after removal?

It is uncommon for a colon polyp to redevelop after being fully extracted. However, some individuals might have new polyps in other portions of the rectum or large intestine (colon). It is therefore imperative to have regular screenings for colon cancer as prescribed by your GI specialist.

Can colon polyps be prevented from developing?

It may not be possible to prevent polyps in the colon or rectum from occurring, especially if you are at a greater risk because of hereditary factors. However, healthy lifestyle choices may help reduce the chance of colon or rectal polyps. Such factors can include eating a balanced diet, avoiding tobacco use, limiting the consumption of alcohol, and getting plenty of exercise. Having periodic colonoscopy screenings once you turn 45 can also help lower your chance of developing polyps.

How long does it take to recover following colorectal polyp removal?

Typically, the majority of patients require around seven days to recuperate following a polypectomy during a colonoscopy procedure. Our Digestive Health Center staff will provide post-operative information on what you can expect during recovery and when you can get back to your normal, daily routine.

Colon polyps can be located, excised, and evaluated for cancer at a routine colonoscopy. As a physician-led group of gastroenterology specialists, Digestive Health Center aspires to deliver a patient-centric experience. Please contact your nearest GI office in Ocean Springs, MS today to learn more about colon polyps and how they can be found and excised.

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