What is Polypectomy?
Polypectomy is a minimally invasive procedure which is used to remove polyps from certain parts of the body,
including the colon, bowel and uterus. It is carried out using a colonoscope and is a less invasive and simpler procedure for patients with polyps which need removing.
Why do I need a Polypectomy?
A polypectomy will remove polyps within your bowel and colon. Polyps are abnormal growths which can quickly grow in size. This can cause further problems such as unexpected bleeding and, in some instances, polyps are cancerous. Once polyps are removed, they are usually sent to the laboratory to be examined but in most instances, they are benign.
Polyps are often found in the colon during a colonoscopy. This is routinely offered to people over 50 in the UK to check for early signs of bowel/colon cancer.
The Polypectomy Procedure
Polypectomy is carried out via colonoscopy when looking for polyps in the colon. The colonoscope, made up of a thin, flexible tube, is inserted via the rectum into the colon. The tubing features a light and a camera which allows the doctor to see inside the colon and pass through other special instruments to locate and remove any polyps found. Polyps are usually removed either by:
- Snare polypectomy – the polyps are removed via a thin wire which is looped around the base of the polyp, and it is cauterised using heat. This stops any bleeding and removes the polyp.
- Piecemeal polypectomy – when polyps are particularly large then this kind of polypectomy is recommended. The polyps are removed piece by piece until they are entirely gone.
Prior to a colposcopy the bowel must be fully cleared, usually done via an enema. Colon polypectomies are usually carried out under local anaesthetic with little to no discomfort for the patient.
Aftercare and Recovery
Once you have had a polypectomy you will usually return home on the same day. You may experience bloating and cramps for the first 24 hours and you will be given advice with regard to your diet for the first few days too. Certain foods such as tea, coffee, fizzy drinks and spicy foods can irritate your bowel and slow down the healing process. You should also ensure you have someone to take you home and avoid driving for the first 24 hours after the procedure too.
Once the polyps are removed, they will be analysed in a lab. If cancerous cells are found, then the next stage of your treatment will be discussed and planned. While it can be worrying, most polyps are malign, and their removal will provide more comfort and stop any irregular or unwanted bleeding.
Dr Rehan Haidry is an experienced consultant gastroenterologist and endoscopist, regularly carrying out colonoscopies and polypectomies. Get in touch today to discuss your symptoms and book an appointment.
To make an enquiry or appointment please contact Dr Rehan Haidry's secretary