Colorectal Polyps in Houston, TX

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Colorectal polyps, also referred to as colon polyps, are naturally occurring growths that frequently develop in individuals. The word "colorectal" refers to the colon and rectum together. Many health situations that involve the colon also include the rectum, which is why they are usually referenced together. A colon polyp is a polyp that occurs in either the colon or the rectum. A colon or rectal polyp is a growth consisting of a mass of cells on the lining of your colon or rectum.

Polyps alone are typically benign and commonly don't result in symptoms; however, colon polyps need to be addressed because they can, eventually, present as cancerous. To detect colon polyps, the GI physicians at Gastroenterology Consultants commonly conduct colonoscopy exams. Please get in touch with our office to request a colonoscopy in Houston, TX.

Colon polyps occur when the cells in your colon undergo more growth or division than they normally should. The medical community is still undecided as to the reasons this happens, but, there are relationships and risk factors that are common among people who present with colorectal polyps.

Common risk factors for rectal polyps include:

  • Crohn's disease
  • Having a family or personal history of colon or rectal polyps
  • Obesity
  • "Typical Western diet" (low fiber, high fat)
  • Genetic history
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Being over the age of 45
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Tobacco use
  • Type 2 diabetes

Hereditary genetic conditions can increase a person's chance of experiencing colon polyps. Such conditions may include but are not limited to:

  • Lynch syndrome
  • Peutz-Jeghers syndrome
  • Gardner's syndrome
  • Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)
  • MYH-associated polyposis (MAP)
  • Serrated polyposis syndrome

Colorectal polyps will not manifest with symptoms much of the time. If you are experiencing any symptoms, some of the most frequently experienced indications of colorectal polyps include:

  • Weakness
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Pain in the abdominal area
  • Blood in the stool
  • Shortness of breath
  • Diarrhea (lasting for more than seven days)

If you are experiencing any of the listed symptoms, are age 45 or greater, or have a family history of colorectal polyps or colon cancer and are in the Houston, TX area, please get in touch with us about colon cancer screenings.

It's not uncommon for your GI physician to identify polyps during the course of a colonoscopy, and most of the time, they are not cancerous (benign). Polyps located while undergoing a colonoscopy will quite often be excised during the course of a colonoscopy (polypectomy) and assessed for cancer. Should it happen that your colon polyps are found to be nonmalignant, then your doctor is likely to encourage regular screenings for colorectal cancer going forward. If a polyp is diagnosed as malignant (cancerous), you and your Gastroenterology Consultants doctor will make a plan with the appropriate next steps.

The main avenue to address colon polyps is by removing them. During a colonoscopy (or flexible sigmoidoscopy), polyps in your rectum and colon can be excised during a procedure called a polypectomy. In more serious situations, a part of or the entirety of your rectum or colon may require removal.

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Are colorectal polyps hereditary?

A familial history of colorectal polyps can elevate your risk of developing this GI condition. Certain types of polyps may have a hereditary link and be more prevalent among relatives. Talk with your GI doctor about your health and family history of colorectal polyps to determine your risk and frequency of colon cancer tests.

Will colorectal polyps return after removal?

It is rare for a colon polyp to regrow after being fully extracted. However, some patients may have new polyps develop in other locations within the colon (large intestine) or rectum. As such, it is crucial to schedule periodic colon cancer screenings as prescribed by your GI specialist.

Can colorectal polyps be prevented?

It might not be possible to prevent polyps in the colon or rectum from developing, particularly if you carry an increased risk due to your family history. However, a healthy lifestyle may help minimize the risk of colorectal polyps. This involves consuming a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise, consuming alcohol in moderation, and avoiding tobacco use. Having routine colonoscopy exams when you turn 45 can also help lower your chance of developing polyps.

How long is recovery following colorectal polyp removal?

Typically, most individuals take approximately seven days to recover after a polypectomy during a colonoscopy procedure. Our Gastroenterology Consultants team will review post-operative information on what to anticipate as you recover and when you can get back to your normal routine.

Colorectal polyps can be diagnosed, excised, and assessed for cancer during the course of a routine colonoscopy procedure. As a physician-led network of gastrointestinal specialists, Gastroenterology Consultants works hard to deliver a patient-centric experience. To hear more about colorectal polyps and how they may be found and removed, please reach out to our GI facility in Houston, TX today.

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Dr Raj is an excellent, expert and knowledgeable doctor. I would recommend him to anyone. Treats you with respect, kindness and explains everything on a layman’s terms. Highly recommended!

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