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Polyps are growths that occur primarily in the
colon (distal-most portion of the lower bowel). Polyps may
cause bleeding and discomfort for the patient. More
importantly, polyps are sometimes pre-cancerous. That is,
if not removed they may turn into cancerous tumors. thus,
when the endoscopist observes polyps, he/she will usually remove
There are two types of polyps:
pedunculated and sessile. Pedunculated polyps appear
almost mushroom-like. That is, the polyp has a stalk which
attaches to the colon wall. The endoscopist maneuvers the
snare loop to capture the polyp while observing endoscopically.
He/she will then instruct the assistant to close the snare loop.
Then, electric current from a generator is applied to the polyp
as pressure is applied to the snare loop via the handle.
The snare will cut the stalk of the polyp and coagulate the
tissue at the same time, minimizing bleeding.
The choice of snare loop size and shape is
dictated by the location and size of the polyp and by physician
Sessile polyps differ from pedunculated polyps
in that they have no identifiable stalk. They can still be
removed with a snare as described above. However, in some
cases (particularly when the polyp is small), hot biopsy forceps
are used instead. The endoscopist will bite the polyp with
the forceps, and then apply coagulating current.
In both types of polypectomy, it is extremely
important to retrieve the polyp (or polyp tissue).
The tissue is analyzed for cancerous cells. If cancer is
confirmed, colon surgery may be required.
The content of this page is
intended for educational and informational purposes only. This
information is not for procedural application. Please consult
your physician or healthcare provider for professional
consultation in regards to these educational topics.