Polyps are small fleshy growths attached to the inside lining of the bowel. They are increasingly common with age and rarely cause symptoms. The vast majority of bowel cancers are thought to arise from polyps so removing them at Colonoscopy can potentially prevent the development of cancer.
Hyperplastic polyps tend to be benign and have limited if any risk for future transformation to cancer.
Adenomatous polyps (which do have malignant potential) can be divided into low and higher risk lesions:
- <10mm in size
- Tubular adenoma histology
- Low grade dysplasia
- > 10mm in size
- Villous adenoma histology
- Sessile serrated adenoma histology
- High grade dysplasia
- Polypectomy to remove all polyps at the time of colonoscopy (unless unsafe to do so)
- Use of endoloop (polyloop) or endoclips to prevent bleeding after polypectomy
- Removal of large pedunculated or sessile polyps
- Removal of large flat polyps by EMR (endoscopic mucosal resection)