What is Polypectomy: Overview, Benefits, and Expected Results

Definition & Overview

Polypectomy is the surgical procedure of removing polyps from different parts of the body usually in the colon or large intestine, cervix, uterus, and nasal cavity. In rare cases, it is also performed to remove abnormal growths outside the ear canals (aural polyps).

A polyp is an abnormal tissue growth that is often benign (noncancerous) and can form in any part of the body where there are blood vessels. The most common types are those found in the cervix (cervical polyps), large intestine (colonic polyps), sinuses (nasal polyps), stomach lining (gastric polyps), and along the lining of the uterus (uterine polyp).

The procedure is typically performed in conjunction with a biopsy to determine if the growths are benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous) so further treatment can be planned if needed. The decision to perform polypectomy usually depends on several factors, including the number and size of polyps found, whether or not they are malignant, and their location. Other factors considered are patient’s lifestyle habits such as smoking or substance abuse, as well the presence of blood-clotting and chronic disorders that can complicate the procedure.

Who Should Undergo and Expected Results

As mentioned earlier, the procedure is performed to remove cervical, colonic, nasal polyps, gastric, uterine, and sometimes, aural polyps.

  • Cervical and uterine polyps – Although most cases of these polyp growths are benign, doctors still recommend polypectomy as there’s a possibility for these tissues to became cancerous. As such, the procedure is performed as a preventative measure. Cervical polyps do not cause any symptoms and can only be detected through several different tests and examinations.

  • Colon or gastric polyps. The removal of colon or gastric polyps treats the condition’s common symptoms including abdominal pain, bleeding from the rectum, and irregular bowel movements. It also halts the development of colon cancer.

  • Nasal polyps. A polypectomy can help relieve symptoms of blocked nasal airway and sinuses as well as chronic sinusitis, asthma, allergies, or persistent cold symptoms.

  • Aural polyps – In rare cases, patients develop a polyp outside their ear canals, which is often caused by a cyst, tumor, or foreign objects. Polypectomy can be recommended to prevent hearing loss and stop bleeding from the ear.

Polypectomy is considered a simple, minimally invasive procedure with high success rate and minimal complications.

How is the Procedure Performed?

Depending on the location where polypectomy is done, the surgeon may administer anesthesia to sedate the patient. However, in the case of cervical polypectomy, anesthesia is usually not needed, as the procedure is typically painless.

During cervical polypectomy, a speculum is inserted into the vagina to expose the cervix. Small blunt forceps are then used to grab and twist the polyps one by one until they are completely separated from their bases. The polyps are then collected and samples sent to pathologists for a biopsy. The whole procedure is relatively painless, though there are cases when the polyps are too large that the surgeon may decide to place the patient under anesthesia to avoid pain or discomfort.

To perform colon or rectal polypectomy, a long, flexible tube with a camera at the end, called an endoscope, is inserted through the anus so the surgeon can locate the polyp without making large incisions. In some cases, a special type of liquid is used in the lining of the bowel to lift off the polyps and make them easier to locate. A snare or a wire lasso is then looped around the base of the polyp and an electric current is passed through the snare to cauterize the polyp as well as any blood vessel connected to it to avoid bleeding.

The same technique is applied in performing nasal polypectomy, except for the use of cautery. A great deal of care is taken not to harm any nearby blood vessels, orbit, or the skull base.

Possible Risks and Complications

Just like any type of medical procedure, polypectomy comes with some risks, including:

  • Adverse reactions to the anesthesia used
  • Heavy bleeding, for those who have undergone cervical polypectomy and those who had polyps removed from the colon or stomach
  • Damage or perforation to the large intestine wall (for polypectomy in the colon), possibly leading to bleeding or infection.


  • Deyhle P (1980). “Results of endoscopic polypectomy in the gastrointestinal tract”. Endoscopy (Suppl): 35–46.

  • Sternberg, Stephen S.; Stacey E. Mills; Darryl Carter (2004). Sternberg’s Diagnostic Surgical Pathology. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 2460.


What is Polypectomy: Overview, Benefits, and Expected Results


Polypectomy is a medical procedure commonly performed to​ remove ⁤polyps from various‍ parts of ‌the ‌body, such as the​ colon, nose, uterus, or vocal cords. A polyp is an abnormal ‍growth that can develop ‍on the inner⁢ lining⁣ of organs. While⁣ most polyps are noncancerous, it’s important to remove them to prevent potential complications and to examine them for any signs of cancerous growth.

What is Polypectomy?

Polypectomy ⁢is ⁢a‍ minimally invasive procedure that involves ​the removal of polyps. It ​is typically performed by a​ trained ​healthcare professional, such as a ​gastroenterologist, otolaryngologist, gynecologist, or other‍ specialists, depending ⁢on⁤ the ‌site of‍ the polyp. The procedure is often done using ‍endoscopic instruments, which allow for precise visualization and removal of the polyp.

Polypectomy Techniques

There are several techniques that can be used ‍for polypectomy, depending‍ on the ⁤location and characteristics of the ‍polyp:

  • Snare⁣ Polypectomy: This ​is the most common technique used for removing polyps in the gastrointestinal tract. A wire loop, or snare, is passed through an endoscope and placed around the base ⁤of the polyp. The snare is ‌then closed, cutting off the blood supply to the polyp and removing it.

  • Hot‍ Biopsy Polypectomy: ⁣ This technique⁣ is used for smaller polyps ⁤in the gastrointestinal tract. A hot biopsy forceps‌ is used to burn​ the base of the polyp, sealing off⁢ blood vessels and removing the⁣ polyp.

  • Cold Forceps ​Polypectomy: This technique is used‌ for⁤ small⁤ polyps in the gastrointestinal tract. Cold​ forceps are used to ‍grasp the polyp and remove it.

  • Endoscopic Mucosal Resection (EMR): EMR ⁤is a technique used ‍for larger polyps that extend ‍into the deeper layers‌ of the organ’s lining. It ‍involves injecting‌ a solution beneath the polyp to lift it away from the underlying tissue, ‌and then‍ removing it using a snare or other instruments.

  • Laser Polypectomy: This technique uses a laser to remove‌ polyps in​ various locations, such as the nose, vocal⁤ cords, or uterus.

  • Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP): LEEP is ​a technique used for⁤ removing cervical polyps.⁤ It involves ‌using a thin wire loop‍ that ⁣is heated by an electric current to⁣ excise the‍ polyp.

Benefits ‌of Polypectomy

Polypectomy offers several benefits for patients, depending on‌ the location and characteristics ⁢of the polyp:

  • Prevention of Cancer: ⁣Some polyps have the potential to develop into cancer over time. By removing these precancerous polyps, the risk of‍ developing cancer can be significantly‌ reduced.

  • Relief of Symptoms: Polyps in certain locations, such ⁣as‍ the nasal passages or the uterus, can cause ⁣symptoms such as ‍nasal congestion, abnormal bleeding, or pain. ‌Removing these polyps can help alleviate these ⁣symptoms and improve⁣ the patient’s quality of life.

  • Improved‌ Diagnostic Accuracy: Removing polyps allows for further examination and testing to determine ‍if any ​cancerous cells are‌ present. This helps ensure an accurate diagnosis and ​appropriate treatment.

  • Prevention of Complications: ​ Some ⁢polyps can ⁢cause complications, such⁢ as intestinal obstruction or​ bleeding. By removing these polyps, the ​risk of complications can ⁤be minimized.

Expected Results

The results ‌of a polypectomy⁣ can vary depending on various factors, including the location and ⁣characteristics of⁣ the polyp, ‌the technique used, and the individual patient’s overall health.‌ However, the following outcomes can generally be​ expected:

  • Polyp⁤ Removal: The primary goal of a polypectomy ⁢is to​ completely remove ⁤the polyp. In most cases, the polyp can be ⁢removed entirely during the procedure.‍ However, in some instances, a larger polyp may need to be removed in stages ‌over multiple ‍sessions.

  • Relief of Symptoms: In cases where polyps are causing symptoms, such ​as nasal congestion, abnormal bleeding, or pain, a ⁣polypectomy can lead to a significant ⁣reduction or​ complete resolution of these⁢ symptoms.

  • Pathological ⁣Examination: After removal,⁢ the polyp is sent ⁣to a laboratory for ‌microscopic examination. This allows for a detailed analysis of the polyp’s​ characteristics and determines if any cancerous or‍ precancerous cells⁣ are present.

  • Follow-up Care: After a polypectomy, patients may require regular follow-up appointments to monitor for any recurrence​ of polyps or ​to address any potential complications. ‍The healthcare provider will establish an appropriate follow-up schedule based on‌ the​ individual patient’s⁤ needs.


Polypectomy is a valuable and effective procedure for the removal of polyps in various organs. It offers⁤ numerous benefits, including cancer prevention, relief of symptoms, improved diagnostic accuracy, and⁤ prevention of complications. The expected results‌ of a⁤ polypectomy ⁢include complete polyp ‍removal, relief of symptoms, pathological examination, and necessary follow-up care. If you ⁢suspect ‌the presence of polyps or have been diagnosed with one, consult with⁣ a⁤ healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate treatment ‍plan, which ⁢may include a polypectomy.

One comment

  1. Very enlightening. Thanks for the information.
    yoloypolo: Very useful info! #Thanks

    Great breakdown of the procedure!

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