Colorectal Polyps in Hattiesburg, MS

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Colon polyps, often called colorectal polyps, are commonly observed among adult individuals. The term "colorectal" refers to the colon and the rectum. Many conditions that affect the colon many times also impact the rectum, which is why they are sometimes mentioned together. A colon or rectal polyp is a mass comprised of a clump of cells, and a colon polyp is a growth that occurs on the lining of either the colon or the rectum.

Polyps by themselves are usually no cause for concern and commonly do not cause symptoms; however, colon and rectal polyps should be removed since they can, over time, turn cancerous. To detect colorectal polyps, the GI physicians at Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC regularly perform colonoscopy services. Please reach out to our team to request a colonoscopy in Hattiesburg, MS.

Colon polyps form when cells undergo more growth or division than what is typical. It's still not known how or why this happens, but there are connections and common risk factors that are associated with individuals who present with colon or rectal polyps.

Risk factors for colon polyps include:

  • Being over the age of 45
  • Having a personal or family history of colorectal polyps
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Smoking
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • "Typical Western diet" (high in fat, low in fiber)
  • Being overweight
  • Crohn's disease
  • High consumption of alcohol

Inherited genetic conditions can raise your chance of having colorectal polyps. Those conditions may include but are not limited to:

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

Oftentimes, occurrences of colon polyps are not accompanied by symptoms. If symptoms are present, some of the most common indications of colorectal polyps include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Bloody stool
  • Diarrhea (lasting for more than seven days)

If you are experiencing any combination of the listed symptoms, are at least 45 years old, or have a family history of colon cancer or colorectal polyps and are in the Hattiesburg, MS area, reach out to our team to learn more about colorectal cancer screenings.

It is not uncommon for a colonoscopy to find polyps in the colon. Usually, they are benign (not cancerous). Polyps discovered during a colonoscopy will often be extracted during the course of the procedure (in what's called a polypectomy) and tested for signs of cancer. Should it happen that your colon or rectal polyps are determined to be nonmalignant, then your physician might request regular screenings for colorectal cancer in the future. If your polyp is determined to be malignant (cancerous), you and your Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC physician will make a plan with the appropriate steps moving forward.

The main way to address colon or rectal polyps is by removing them. Polyps found in the colon or rectum may be excised during a colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy. In severe situations, part or the entirety of your colon or rectum may need to be removed.

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Are colon polyps hereditary?

Having a familial history of colorectal polyps can heighten your risk of developing this health condition. Some variations of polyps can have a genetic link and may be more likely to occur among relatives. Speak with your GI doctor about your own health and family history of colon polyps to determine your risk and frequency of colorectal cancer screenings.

Will colon polyps grow back after removal?

In general, it is uncommon for a colorectal polyp to redevelop after being thoroughly excised. However, some individuals might develop new polyps in other locations within the colon or rectum. Therefore, it is essential to schedule regular colorectal cancer screenings as recommended by your gastroenterologist.

Can colon polyps be prevented?

It might not be possible to keep polyps in the colon or rectum from arising, particularly if you carry a greater risk due to genetics. But a healthy lifestyle might help minimize the risk of these polyps. This involves following a balanced diet, getting enough exercise, consuming alcohol in moderation, and avoiding the use of tobacco. Scheduling periodic colonoscopies upon turning 45 can also help diminish the chance of polyp development.

How long is the recovery period following colon polyp removal?

On average, most individuals require about one week to recover after undergoing a polypectomy during a colonoscopy exam. Our team at Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC will provide aftercare information on what to expect during recovery and when you can get back to your normal, daily routine.

Colorectal polyps can be identified, excised, and assessed for cancer during a routine colonoscopy exam. As part of a physician-led network of gastroenterologists, Hattiesburg GI Associates, PLLC strives to deliver a patient-centric experience. To learn more about colon polyps and how they might be detected and removed, we encourage you to contact our GI doctors in Hattiesburg, MS today.

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