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Polypectomy Colon Polyps Surgery at Our Los Angeles Center

Colonic polypectomies are used to remove polyps from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract after they have been biopsied (sampled and tested) and determined to be cancerous. Though there are usually no obvious symptoms that come with colonic polyps, larger polyps can occasionally cause rectal bleeding, abdominal pain and irregular stools.

The colon must be completely clear before the procedure, which may require the use of enemas, laxatives or cleaning solution. Once your doctor has decided the polyp must be removed, there are two different approaches that can be taken depending on the size of the polyp. Both approaches are minimally invasive and can be done during a colonoscopy or esophagogastroduodenoscopy. The surgeon can pass the instruments needed to remove the polyp through the small scope that is used to visualize and access the affected area.

If the polyp is small (under 10 millimeters in diameter), it can usually be removed using just a simple wire snare.

If the polyp is larger (over 10 millimeters in diameter), the surgeon uses a snare with an electric current. The snare is looped around the polyp and pulled away from the colon wall for better visualization and to decrease the risk of perforating the wall of the colon. An electric current cuts the polyp away from the colon wall (known as a sessile polyp) or the stalk attached to the colon wall (known as a pedunculated polyp).

A polypectomy usually takes between 30 and 60 minutes. Though the preparation for the procedure, such as the use of enemas, laxatives or cleaning solution, can result in discomfort, there is rarely any pain associated with the postoperative portion of a polypectomy. That said, there may be some pressure, bloating or cramping as air passes through the colon. The most common risks and complications of polypectomy are bleeding and perforation of the colon.

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