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At Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital, our experienced gastroenterologists offer a wide range of treatment options and preventive measures for intestinal polyps. Our team of specialists will provide you with guidance and advice to make the best possible choices for your treatment.
Intestinal polyps are a very common condition consisting of small protuberances, or overgrowths, that develop on the intestinal mucosa. The main reason these polyps appear is that our cells can sometimes grow beyond their natural limits and produce an excess of tissue. Polyps are very likely to go unnoticed, as they do not show any symptoms, and are oftentimes discovered accidentally.
Intestinal polyps affect more than 30 percent of the population. Additionally, they are more common in people over 60, people who are overweight or obese, smokers, and people who have a family history of intestinal polyps. Despite the fact that only a small percentage of intestinal polyps are cancerous, they should always be removed when discovered.
If you have a high risk of developing intestinal polyps due to your family history or other factors it is important that you have regular checkups or colonoscopies to detect intestinal polyps in their early stages. When found early, these protuberances can be removed effectively and without any complications.
The best treatment option, when dealing with intestinal polyps is surgical removal. Even when discovered during a routine examination, your doctor might choose to remove them immediately. Generally, intestinal polyps are eliminated by using one of the following endoscopic procedures: a colonoscopy, an esophagogastroduodenoscopy, or, when dealing with large polyps, surgery. The most common procedures for the removal of intestinal polyps are:
When treating intestinal polyps, the most effective methods are the surgical removal procedures or polypectomies. However, there are a few non-surgical treatments that can be effective when trying to prevent the development of this condition:
There are two types of intestinal polyps judging by their shape: pedunculated polyps and sessile polyps. The pedunculated polyps are attached to the intestinal tissue through a long, thin pedicel, or extension, while the sessile polyps are entirely attached to the intestinal wall and are flatter.
Another type of classification for polyps is by the types of cells that they are made of: neoplastic or non-neoplastic. The polyps that belong to the first category are likely to develop into cancerous masses, while the ones that belong to the second category do not pose this threat.
There is a third classification method regarding intestinal polyps, defining them as follows:
Intestinal polyps are generally asymptomatic and are accidentally found during routine endoscopic procedures and screening exams. Some cases, especially when larger polyps are present, might present the following symptoms:
There are several techniques a doctor can use to diagnose intestinal polyps, such as:
There are certain factors that are thought to increase the risk of developing intestinal polyps, such as:
The main cause of intestinal polyps is represented by the overgrowth of cells, which is generally caused by mutations. When these mutations happen in the intestinal tract, they result in the apparition of polyps. Other causes of intestinal polyps are represented by an unhealthy lifestyle, frequent alcohol consumption, eating fatty meat and read meat, and being overweight. Additionally, recent studies found that smoking on a regular basis can double the chances of developing intestinal polyps, as the substances found in cigarettes can trigger an abnormal overgrowth of cells in the intestines, as well as in other organs.
The best way to manage these polyps is by following your doctor’s advice, which will usually result in the surgical removal of the polyps. However, there are certain alternative and natural remedies that are thought to prevent and even cease the growth of intestinal polyps. If you decide to try any of these alternative methods, it is recommended that you ask for your doctor’s opinion beforehand.
Some of the most popular alternative treatments for intestinal polyps are:
Intestinal polyps can be prevented by integrating certain lifestyle adjustments such as: eating more fruits and vegetables, reducing the consumption of fat, avoiding alcohol and tobacco, maintaining a normal weight, doing physical exercise and getting regular checkups after the age of 50.
Are you suffering from intestinal polyps? For any questions, information or guidance related to intestinal polyps, get in touch with our specialty-trained, skilled gastroenterologists at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital.
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