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Colon or intestinal polyps are abnormal growths that stick out of the lining of the intestinal tract. Most polyps do not cause any symptoms. Polyps develop in 15 to 20 percent of the adult population. People may have one polyp or many polyps, which often grow slowly. Larger polyps are more likely to develop into colon cancer.
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Colon Polyps: Why Choose Johns Hopkins
- Our physicians have refined their skills through years of experience in Johns Hopkins’ high-volume center.
- Expertise, combined with the use of advanced technology, allows our gastroenterologists to treat even the most difficult cases.
- Johns Hopkins has invested in innovative tools and treatments for a wide variety of gastroenterology and hepatology needs. Because of these advances, our doctors can help patients avoid surgery or other more invasive treatments for cancerous polyps or colon cancer.
Colon Polyp Treatment Options
Our gastroenterologists perform several treatments that aren’t readily available at other health care institutions because they require a high degree of skill and training. These procedures may help patients avoid open surgery for faster recovery and less pain:
- Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR): Using EMR, our gastroenterologists can remove polyps or tumors just beneath the GI wall.
- Endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD): ESD can be used to remove polyps or tumors from deep within the GI wall.
- Endoscopic full thickness resection (EFTR): Using EFTR, our gastroenterologists can remove polyps or tumors that are very deep in the wall of the GI tract.
Consult with one of our gastroenterologists to learn whether endoscopic surgery may be right for you.
Information About Colon Polyps
- Many polyps are benign (not cancerous), but some can lead to cancer. Doctors recommend starting routine colonoscopies at age 50. Colonoscopy screening allows doctors to identify and remove precancerous polyps before they develop into cancer.
- If a doctor finds and removes a precancerous polyp during a routine colonoscopy, your gastroenterologist may recommend more frequent surveillance colonoscopies to monitor your health in the future.
- If you have a family history of polyps, your doctor may recommend you begin colonoscopy screening at an earlier age. Your doctor may refer you to the Colon Cancer Risk Assessment Clinic for an evaluation.
- If you are overweight, smoke or drink alcohol to excess, you may be at higher risk for developing polyps. African-Americans also have higher risk for polyps, as do individuals with an inherited condition called familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP).
- Some inflammatory polyps are associated with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. These polyps are typically benign. Still, these conditions could increase your risk for colon cancer.
Our Team of Colon Polyp Specialists
Our practitioners are board certified in gastroenterology by the American Board of Internal Medicine, which means they have passed rigorous evaluation in their specialty. As specialists, they have completed extra training through a gastroenterology fellowship.
Our physicians have refined their skills through years of experience in Johns Hopkins’ high-volume center. This expertise, combined with the use of advanced technology, allows them to treat even the most difficult cases.