Do you need to know more about how to treat a rectal polyp? A polyp is an extra piece of tissue that develops inside the body, often in the colon or rectum. Though polyps are usually not painful or harmful, they can sometimes develop into colorectal cancer. Since polyps usually don't cause symptoms, you probably won't know that you have one unless it is discovered during a colonoscopy (screening for colorectal cancer). This screening is recommended annually for people over 50. Your doctor will follow these steps to treat a rectal polyp:
- Your doctor will most likely treat your rectal polyp with surgical removal. During a routine colonoscopy, a lighted tube is inserted into the anus and through the rectum and colon, allowing your doctor to see polyps or other irregularities. If a polyp is found during this procedure, it can often be removed right away.
- To treat the polyp, your doctor will remove it with a wire loop passed through the colonoscope. This is an outpatient procedure, and you will already be under general anesthesia for the colonoscopy itself. Very small polyps may be removed using an electric current. Very large polyps may be treated with a separate surgery.
- When the polyp is removed, it will be tested for cancer. If cancer is detected, your doctor will refer you to a specialist who will recommend a course of treatment. If the polyp is not cancerous, your doctor may recommend regular screening tests for polyps. You are more likely to develop a polyp if you've already had one.