At GIDOCJHB, we provide comprehensive diagnosis, management, treatment options, and follow-up care of surgical disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.
Expertise, combined with the use of the latest technology, allows Dr Schneider to treat even the most difficult cases.
We provide every patient with a consistent, compassionate, and personalized approach to care that acknowledges and understands both the physical and emotional impact these medical problems can have on people.
Fast, flexible scheduling is available, including immediate appointments for some services and direct access scheduling of screening colonoscopies for appropriate patients.
What Is a Polypectomy?
A polypectomy is a minimally-invasive procedure to remove polyps from the large intestine.
A polyp is an abnormal collection of tissue. The tissue will be studied to determine if the growths are cancerous, precancerous, or benign. This can prevent colon cancer. A Polypectomy is generally regarded as very safe.
The two most common types of polypectomy are:
- Uterine polypectomy – Removing polyps in the endometrial tissue, the tissue that lines the uterus.
- Colon polypectomy – Removing polyps in the colon.
Polyps may also develop in other regions of the body.
Who Needs a Polypectomy?
Most people with polyps don’t know they have them unless it causes symptoms or during a colonoscopy or screening for something else.
Anyone who has been diagnosed with a polyp will require a polypectomy to remove it.
Screening tests are crucial in detecting polyps in their early stages before they become cancerous. Caught early, you’ll have a better chance of a full recovery.
Screening methods include:
- Colonoscopy – the standard method for colorectal polyps. If polyps are found, a gastroenterologist may remove them immediately or take tissue samples for further analysis.
- Virtual colonoscopy – A minimally invasive test that uses a CT scan to view your colon. If a polyp is found, you’ll need a colonoscopy to have it removed.
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy – A thin tube is inserted into your rectum to examine for abnormalities. If a polyp is found, you’ll need a colonoscopy to have it removed.
- Stool-based tests – Looking for the presence of blood in the stool or assessing your stool DNA. If your stool test is positive you will need a colonoscopy.
Risks, Causes, and Complications of a Polypectomy
Anyone can develop a polyp, but some of the well-known factors that increase the likelihood of developing one are:
- Increase in age
- Are overweight or obese
- Genetics and family history
- Certain foods
- Have diabetes
- Diagnosed with IBS or other gastrointestinal conditions
- Excessive alcohol
Removing small polyps is regarded as generally safe and a routine part of a colonoscopy.
The risk increases with the size of the polyp. However, as with any surgery, there are some complications that can arise, such as:
- Organ puncture – This can be life-threatening, but is rare.
- Bleeding – If the wound does not properly heal, it can cause bleeding
- Infection – As with any wound, it is prone to infection, especially if not cared for correctly.
- Incomplete removal – The first procedure can leave some tissue behind, requiring a second polypectomy.
A gastroenterologist is most likely to remove all polyps discovered during a bowel examination and diagnosis.
Following a polypectomy, you can return home the same day. Many people experience some pain and small amounts of bleeding for up to five days afterward, but this is generally regarded as normal. It’s recommended to take one to two days off work to rest and recover.
It’s also best to avoid certain ingredients, such as anything spicy, tea, coffee, alcohol, and sugary drinks for at least 72 hours. Driving is also not recommended for up to 48 hours after your procedure.
A polypectomy does not need to be regularly repeated. However, if there are areas of concern that were not fully removed, you may be scheduled for a second procedure to remove the remaining lesions.
If there was no evidence of cancer noted on your lab reports, you will need to continue to have routine colonoscopies every five to ten years.
You should contact your gastroenterologist immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms after your procedure:
- Fever or chills
- Heavy bleeding
- Severe abdominal pain or cramping
Once the polyps have been analysed, if cancer is detected your gastroenterologist will schedule a follow-up consultation to discuss the next steps.
Tips for Preparing for Your First Appointment With a Gastroenterologist
- Phone two days before to ask about any pre-appointment restrictions, such as not eating solid food on the day before your scheduled appointment.
- Write down your symptoms, if any.
- Make a list of all your medications, vitamins, and supplements.
- Write down your key medical information, including other conditions.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor so you don’t forget.
Preparation for a Polypectomy
The preparation for a polypectomy is the same for a colonoscopy.
A gastroenterologist will need your large intestine to be entirely clear and free from any visual obstruction because any stool left in the intestine will block the view, hindering the chances of finding any polyps that you may have in your colon.
The standard process will be that you will need to drink only liquids during the 24 hours before the procedure and take a solution that will help you empty your bowels.
Your gastroenterologist will prepare you for this and guide you through the entire process.
A polypectomy itself should take up to 25 minutes, which could be at least 40 minutes to an hour depending on how many polyps are found and the size.
You will be given medication that makes you drowsy, which is why it’s recommended to rest immediately once you are home.
A polypectomy is generally done in a GI’s office that is equipped with a colonoscope and monitor.
What to Wear
You can dress comfortably. You will be asked to undress from the waist down and to wear a gown throughout your procedure.
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.