If you are diagnosed with a bowel polyp, even if it’s causing no symptoms, you’ll probably be advised to have it removed. This is to avoid the small risk of it developing into a cancer in the future.
The removal of polyps is usually carried out during a colonoscopy when the polyp is snared. Or, in some cases, bowel polyps can be treated using a biopsy forcep to remove them. Both these methods are relatively quick and painless. Samples of removed polyps will be sent away for further analysis to check for any signs of cancer.
Sometimes bowel polyps will need to be treated by surgically removing part of the bowel, but this is normally only carried out if a polyp shows signs of cancer or is unusually large.
During a colonoscopy a small flexible telescope called a colonoscope, the thickness of a finger, is passed into your back passage. Some air will be put into your bowel during the procedure, to make it easier to see any polyps. At this stage, the polyps are removed using special instruments passed inside the colonoscope. This is painless and the whole procedure should take less than 30 minutes.
After the colonoscopy, you may feel bloated and have wind pains, but these usually clear up quite quickly. We use a sedative to help you relax during the treatment - this may make you feel sleepy. You may experience a small amount of bleeding from your back passage after the procedure.
If you experience unusually intense abdominal pain, a fever or are passing a lot of blood from your back passage within 48 hours, then you should consult a doctor immediately
After removal, a polyp will be sent away for detailed analysis to check for any signs of cancer. If anything is discovered further treatment may be required.