Colon Polyps Specialist

Colorado Gastroenterology -  - Gastroenterologist

Colorado Gastroenterology

Gastroenterologists located in Denver, CO & Aurora, CO

Polyps are common as we age. An estimated 90% of polyp cases happen after the age of 50. The experts at Colorado Gastroenterology in Denver, Aurora, and Golden recommend regular screenings to ensure the polyps don’t develop into problems. If it’s time for your colonoscopy, click or call to schedule the screening at one of the practice’s dedicated testing centers.

Colon Polyps Q & A

What are polyps?

Polyps are abnormal cell growths that commonly form in the stomach or colon. Most polyps are benign, but some contain cancerous or precancerous cells. They usually don’t cause any symptoms, so that’s why screening is essential.

Two common types of colon polyps include hyperplastic polyps and adenomas. Hyperplastic polyps aren’t at risk for turning into cancer, but adenomas could potentially lead to colon cancer, though most never do.

What causes polyps?

Researchers aren’t sure what the exact cause of polyps is, but they have uncovered certain risk factors that potentially predispose you to polyps, including:

  • Age: being over the age of 50
  • Nutrition: high-fat, low-fiber diet
  • Genetics: family history of polyps or colon cancer

Because polyps are common in people over the age of 50 and don’t cause symptoms, Colorado Gastroenterology recommends regular colonoscopies for those at risk.

How are polyps diagnosed?

Many polyps are discovered during routine colonoscopies. However, discovering polyps with other methods is possible as well:

  • Barium enema - involves a barium drink and X-rays to identify polyps
  • Stool sampling - examining your stool for the presence of blood
  • Endoscopy - inserting a thin instrument with a camera into your stomach or colon
  • Sigmoidoscopy - inserts a small tube with a light into your rectum
  • CT colonography - an X-ray takes pictures of your colon

A colonoscopy is the most trusted method of detecting and treating colon polyps while endoscopy is the preferred method for gastric polyps. Your doctor may also send tissue retrieved during a colonoscopy or endoscopy for biopsy to rule out cancer.

What treatment options are available for polyps?

Small polyps and non-adenomas may not require any treatment, but your Colorado Gastroenterology doctor may suggest occasionally monitoring them.

During a colonoscopy or endoscopy, your doctor may remove larger polyps and adenomas with one of the following methods.

  • Wire loop biopsy forceps: A heated wire loop wraps around the polyp and burns it off
  • Polyp resection: An electric current heats and seals the blood vessels to the polyp

If you’ve had polyps before or are at higher risk for polyps, your doctor may recommend more frequent testing.

To find out if you’re at risk for colon or gastric polyps, contact Colorado Gastroenterology for an evaluation.

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