A colon polypectomy is a procedure that involves removing polyps from the colon, or the large intestine. Polyps are small growths that can develop on the lining of the colon and, in some cases, may eventually turn cancerous.
Polyps are usually spotted during a colonoscopy, which is a screening procedure that physicians perform to check for signs of colon cancer. While polyps themselves are generally harmless, most physicians encourage patients undergo colon polyp removal as a precautionary measure.
Here is a general overview of what a polypectomy entails:
- The patient receives medication to make them relaxed, drowsy and numbed to pain.
- As the patient rests on his or her side, the surgeon feeds a thin surgical instrument with a small camera on the end through the large intestine, which sends detailed images of the colon onto a monitor in the operating room.
- If the surgeon sees a polyp or other suspicious looking tissue, removal of the colon polyp is performed with a wire snare or gentle electrical current. The removed polyp is then sent to a lab for testing.
A polypectomy usually takes about 30 to 60 minutes to complete. Prior to the polypectomy procedure, the patient will be asked to clean out their system with an enema, a laxative or a liquid diet to ensure the surgeon has a clear view of the intestines.
The physicians at Tampa General Hospital’s Endoscopy Center provide the latest advances in polyp removal, colon cancer screening and other gastrointestinal procedures. The expertise of our surgeons, combined with the personalized care our staff of medical professionals provides, has helped TGH earn a spot on U.S. News & World Report’s list of America’s Best Hospitals in Gastroenterology & GI Surgery for 2017-18.
If you would like to consult with a TGH gastroenterologist regarding a gastrointestinal issue, or if screening procedures have indicated you may need a polypectomy, please call 1-800-822-3627 or use our online Physician Finder.