Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Intestinal Polyps Overview

What are intestinal polyps?
A person with intestinal polyps has tiny, non-cancerous growths on the inside of the intestine. A polyp is a ball of tissue, attached to the intestinal wall by a stalk. Intestinal polyps are made up of the cells that line the intestine. About 30 percent of adults in the US have intestinal polyps. Polyps may be surgically removed during colonoscopy. Left untreated, intestinal polyps can develop into colorectal cancer.

What are the symptoms of intestinal polyps?
Intestinal polyps rarely cause symptoms unless they bleed, or become large enough to obstruct the intestine. Symptoms of intestinal polyps may include constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, abdominal swelling, black stool, blood in stool, pencil-thin stools, and rectal bleeding.

How does the doctor treat intestinal polyps?
Treatment for intestinal polyps may include medications that suppress the growth of polyps, and colonoscopy to remove polyps. In some cases, abdominal surgery may be required to remove intestinal polyps.

Continue to Intestinal Polyps Incidence

Last Updated: Feb 10, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Intestinal Polyps References
  1. Friedman S, Odze RD, Farraye FA. Management of neoplastic polyps in inflammatory bowel disease. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2003 Jul;9(4):260-6. [12902849]
  2. Merg A, Howe JR. Genetic conditions associated with intestinal juvenile polyps. Am J Med Genet C Semin Med Genet. 2004 Aug 15;129(1):44-55. [15264272]
  3. Schulmann K, Hollerbach S, Kraus K, Willert J, Vogel T, Moslein G, Pox C, Reiser M, Reinacher-Schick A, Schmiegel W. Feasibility and diagnostic utility of video capsule endoscopy for the detection of small bowel polyps in patients with hereditary polyposis syndromes. Am J Gastroenterol. 2005 Jan;100(1):27-37. [15654777]
  4. Togashi K, Konishi F, Ishizuka T, Sato T, Senba S, Kanazawa K. Efficacy of magnifying endoscopy in the differential diagnosis of neoplastic and non-neoplastic polyps of the large bowel. Dis Colon Rectum. 1999 Dec;42(12):1602-8. [10613481]
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