Lonestar Gastroenterology

If Polyps are Benign, Why Must They Be Removed?

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If Polyps are Benign, Why Must They Be Removed?

Polyps are growth that can develop in many places in your body but are often benign, meaning they’re not a threat. So, why is it necessary to remove them if they’re benign? Read on to find out more.

If you break down the complexity of the organs, bones, and tissue that make up the human body, you have trillions of cells with their functions and structures, including skin, fat, neurons, bacterial, and red blood cells. (over 200 different types) We depend on cell growth to live. They can also develop into abnormal cells, which leads to several health risks.

Abnormal cells can form for various reasons in your body, creating tissue growths called polyps that can be potentially dangerous. Polyps can grow just about anywhere in the body. In your digestive system, they can affect your stomach, colon, large intestine, and rectum but are often benign, meaning they don’t pose any danger to your body. 

However, even benign polyps may need removing. To find out why, we need to understand more about polyps, the different types that can affect your body, and the reasons seemingly harmless ones may need to go.

Dr. Rajesh Mehta and his skilled medical staff at LoneStar Gastroenterology can help if you are an Austin, Texas, resident and have issues with polyps in your digestive tract.

Understanding polyps

These abnormal tissue growths frequently appear as small bumps or mushroom-like stalks wherever they grow in the body and are less than half an inch in width. They develop for several reasons, including inflammation of tissue, foreign objects, cysts, tumors, and gene mutation, but in other cases, the cause is unknown. 

In addition to the growths that develop in your digestive tract, other common types include uterine, cervical, nasal, aural, throat, bladder, and gallbladder polyps.

Types of polyps

The polyps that can grow in your stomach, intestines, or rectum develop in one of three ways

  • Hyperplastic: these are benign and pose no threat to your health
  • Adenomatous: the most common type, which may never develop into cancer but has the potential to
  • Malignant: these possess cancer cells and are dangerous to your health

Stomach polyps form in the lining of the organ and have symptoms like nausea, vomiting, pain, and tenderness. Symptoms in the intestines and rectum often have signs like blood in your stool, rectal bleeding, pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. 

You may be at a higher risk of polyps in your digestive tract if you’re over 50, overweight, you’ve had them before, have a family history, or already struggle with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes or a digestive inflammatory illness. 

Reasons to remove a benign polyp

Hyperplastic and adenomatous polyps are not harmful to the body, but if we find evidence of either present in your body, it may likely get removed as a precautionary measure. For this process, we perform a polypectomy, and if this growth develops and shows any of the symptoms mentioned above, looks cancerous or precancerous, or needs examination in the lab, we remove it. 

This removal reduces the risks of colon cancer in the future. Since it offers no benefit to the body, taking the polyp out is the best choice if it avoids potential disease or reduces symptoms.

The process is minimally invasive and poses no health risks, so we can help to reduce your chance of cancer safely and effectively. Make an appointment today with Dr. Mehta and LoneStar Gastroenterology for an examination if you think you have polyps or are at risk for colon cancer.