Find out whether colon polyps need to be removed and what to expect from the procedure.
If you have colon polyps the good news is that they can easily be removed by one of our Houston, TX, gastroenterologists. Most colon polyps are benign but do have the ability to turn cancerous. This is why it’s important to have them removed. Since colon polyps rarely cause symptoms usually the only way to find out you have polyps is through a routine colonoscopy. Regular colonoscopies after you turn 50 years old are important for both men and women for detecting colon polyps and colorectal cancer.
What are the signs of colon polyps?
Many people don’t even know that they have colon polyps; however, sometimes they can cause signs such as,
- Rectal bleeding
- Black or red-colored stools
- Bowel changes (e.g. persistent diarrhea or constipation)
- Abdominal pain and fullness
If you are dealing with abdominal pain or blood in the stool it’s important that you see your Houston, TX, gastroenterologist as soon as possible.
How are colon polyps treated?
It is important that polyps are removed, and the most common way to remove polyps is with a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is a simple procedure in which our doctors insert a thin, flexible tube into the rectum and guide it carefully into the colon. From there, we can use special instruments to remove the polyp or polyps. Once the polyps are removed, we will test them for cancer.
Those who have had colon polyps in the past are more at risk for developing colorectal cancer and may want to talk with their doctors about coming in more often for routine colonoscopies.
Is there a way to prevent colon polyps?
There are things you can do to lessen your chances for developing polyps. Some of these preventive measures include,
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet
- Reducing red meat consumption
- Avoiding or limiting alcohol
- Quitting smoking
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Losing excess weight if overweight or obese
- Getting regular physical activity
Making healthier life choices can go a long way to reducing your risk for both colon polyps and colorectal cancer.
Looking for a gastroenterologist in Houston, TX, that can provide you with routine colonoscopies and regular intestinal care? If so, call Houston Digestive Diseases Consultants to schedule your next appointment. Call (713) 777-2555 for the Memorial Hermann Southwest office, (713) 796-8627 for the Smith Tower office, or (713) 880-8707 for the Memorial Hermann Greater Heights office.