Colon polyps

Duodenal polyps

Polyps are small growths of tissue found in the colon (large intestine) and other organs

What are colon polyps?

Colon polyps or duodenal polyps are small growths of tissue found in the colon (large intestine). Colon polyps are usually harmless and often get better on their own. In other cases, they can develop into colon cancer, which can be fatal.

Need to know

  • What are the symptoms of colon polyps? icon plus

    Colon polyps don't often cause symptoms. If they do, these might include:

    • tummy pain
    • rectal bleeding
    • change in faeces colour
    • change in bowel habits

    In other cases, colon polyps often show up during a colonoscopy or bowel examination. Colon polyps found early can be removed safely and completely. So it's important to have regular colon screenings.

  • How are colon polyps diagnosed? icon plus

    Your consultant gastroenterologist will most likely recommend certain tests to find out if you have a colon polyp(s). These might include:

    • Colonoscopy. A test to look inside your colon using a flexible tube with a camera on the end. If a polyp is found, it can be removed immediately.
    • Virtual colonoscopy. A CT scan to view your colon. If a polyp is found, a colonoscopy can be carried out to remove it.
    • Flexible sigmoidoscopy. A rectal test to look inside your colon using a sigmoidoscope.

    If a polyp is found, it can be removed by passing a thin hooking instrument down the sigmoidoscope.

  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    In most cases, if colon polyps are found, they can be removed during your diagnostic screening. In some cases, a sample of the polyp may be sent away to test it for cancer. Your consultant gastroenterologist will discuss the results of this test at a later date. If you require further treatment, your consultant will explain this to you.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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