A polyp is an abnormal mass of tissue that develops on the inner wall of a hollow organ. Colon polyps are a concern because they are sometimes accompanied by cancer and the polyps themselves can become cancerous.
A polypectomy is the surgical removal of a polyp. Colon polyps can be removed through open abdominal surgery, but more commonly it is performed during a colonoscopy. The endoscopist may snip off a small polyp with a forceps or remove a larger polyp with a snare that burns through the base of the polyp.
During a polypectomy procedure at the Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) Endoscopy Center, a specialist places a thin, flexible, lighted tube, called a colonoscope, into the rectum and colon. In addition to allowing visualization of the internal colon, the colonoscope enables the physician to irrigate, suction, inject air, and access the bowel with surgical instruments. The physician will remove the polyp (and possibly surrounding tissue) for further examination and possibly treat any other problems that are discovered.
The BWH Division of General and Gastrointestinal Surgery provides comprehensive diagnosis, management, and follow-up of surgical disorders of the gastrointestinal tract and affiliated disorders. Services include diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy; surgical and non-surgical treatment of gallstones and other biliary, pancreatic, and liver disorders; management of inflammatory bowel disease, including ileoanal anastomosis; treatment of benign and malignant surgical diseases of the endocrine system, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestine, anus, and rectum; and hernias. Therapeutic endoscopic and laparoscopic procedures are also performed.
BWH has long been committed to not only the care of our patients but also the many other needs that they and their families have. This philosophy of patient- and family-focused care - involving systems and services that emphasize healing in a comfortable, relaxed environment – is a guiding force behind the care we provide at the Division of General and Gastrointestinal Surgery.
BWH is committed to providing all of our patients with the safest, highest-quality, most-satisfying care possible and follow established protocols that have been shown to improve patient outcomes. Our Inpatient Satisfaction Survey, sent to patients’ to assess their total care experience, helps us to monitor what we are doing well and where we could improve. We pride ourselves in the Quality of Patient Care we provide and how we compare with other hospitals.
The Endoscopy Center team, led by Medical Director John Saltzman, MD, offers inpatient evaluations, outpatient evaluations and treatments for disorders of the esophagus, stomach, small bowel, colon and the biliary/pancreatic system. The program’s world-class reputation is evidenced by its status as one of only 17 endoscopy programs in the world to be named as a Center of Excellence by the World Organization of Digestive Endoscopy.
If you believe you should have an evaluation and would like to schedule an appointment with one of our endoscopy experts, call 1-800-294-9999 to speak to one of our knowledgeable coordinators who can help to connect you to the doctor that best meets your needs or fill out an online appointment request form.
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