Colorectal Polyps in Denver, CO

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What are colon polyps?

Colorectal polyps, occasionally referred to as colon polyps, are a common condition that patients in Denver, CO can face. The term “colorectal” refers to the colon and the rectum. Multiple health situations which include the colon also include the rectum, which is why they are many times spoken of together. A colorectal polyp is a small clump of cells that form on the lining of the colon in either the colon or the rectum. A colon or rectal polyp is a mass comprised of a mass of cells on the lining of your colon or rectum.

Polyps alone are often harmless and commonly do not cause symptoms; however, colon polyps should be addressed because they can, after a time, grow to be cancerous. To identify colorectal polyps, arrange for a colonoscopy at Colorado Gastroenterology.

What causes colorectal polyps?

Colon polyps present when cells grow or divide more than what is most common. The world of medicine remains unsure as to why this happens, but, there are correlations and risk factors that are common among people who have colon polyps.

Common risk factors for colon and/or polyps include:

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

Inherited genetic conditions can increase the risk of developing colon or rectal polyps. Such conditions may include but are not limited to:

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

Contact the gastrointestinal specialists at Colorado Gastroenterology to schedule a colonscopy to have your polyps addressed.

What are the symptoms of colon polyps?

A number of occurrences of colon polyps do not manifest as symptoms. If you are experiencing any symptoms, some of the most common symptoms of colon polyps include:

  • Constipation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Diarrhea (lasting for more than a week)
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Abdominal pain
  • Blood in the stool
  • Exhaustion
  • Weakness

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, are 45 years of age or older, or have a family history of colon cancer or colorectal polyps, contact Colorado Gastroenterology for more information on a colorectal cancer screening.

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Are colon polyps a hereditary condition?

Having a familial history of colorectal polyps can increase your personal risk of developing this GI condition. Certain variations of polyps may carry a genetic association and may be more prevalent among family members. Speak with your GI physician regarding your health and any family history of polyps to determine your own risk and frequency of colon cancer screenings.

Will colorectal polyps return?

Generally, it is unusual for a colorectal polyp to return after being completely extracted. However, some individuals might develop new polyps in other parts of the large intestine (colon) or rectum. As such, it is vital to maintain routine colon cancer screenings as prescribed by your GI specialist.

Can colon polyp development be prevented?

It may not be possible to prevent polyps in the colon or rectum from developing, particularly if you have a greater risk due to hereditary factors. However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle could help lessen the risk of these polyps. This involves avoiding tobacco use, drinking alcohol in moderation, eating a well-balanced diet, and getting plenty of exercise. Undergoing periodic colonoscopy exams upon turning 45 can also help reduce the chance of polyp development.

How long is recovery after colorectal polyp removal?

Most patients take approximately a week to recover following a polypectomy during a colonoscopy procedure. The Colorado Gastroenterology clinical team will review aftercare instructions on what you can anticipate as you recover and when you can proceed with your regular daily activities.

Find treatment for colorectal polyps

Colon polyps can be located, excised, and evaluated for cancer while you are undergoing a routine colonoscopy procedure. As a physician-led team of gastrointestinal specialists, Colorado Gastroenterology aspires to provide a personalized patient experience. To hear more about colorectal polyps and how they can be located and excised, we encourage you to get in touch with our gastroenterology practice in Denver, CO today.

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