A polypectomy is the medical term for the surgical removal of a polyp. Your doctor may have found a polyp in your digestive tract when you had a colonoscopy (for a description of this procedure see “Colonoscopy”). A polyp is a mass of tissue that has grown on the inside wall of your intestines, but it should not be there (See Polyps in the Gastrointestinal Tract). The doctor has to remove it and test the tissue to see if it is simply extra tissue or if it is cancerous.

What will the procedure involve?

You will be given medicine that will help you go to sleep. The procedure is similar to a colonoscopy in that the doctor will place a small, flexible tube through your rectum into the colon. The doctor will then be able to place an instrument in the tube to get to the site of the polyp so that he can take it out.

Before and After the Procedure

In the weeks prior to the procedure you will need to take acetaminophen instead of aspirin or ibuprofen in order to decrease the chances of increased bleeding during the procedure. You will also need to prepare for the procedure in the same way that you would for a colonoscopy (see “Colonoscopy Preparation”).

Following the procedure, you may feel some discomfort due to increased gas or abdominal cramping. You may also have a small amount of rectal bleeding, which is normal.

When to Call the Doctor

You should have your parents call the doctor if you experience:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • A large amount of rectal bleeding
  • Fever
  • Symptoms becoming worse


Image above from NIDDK

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