Colon Polyp Removal Care

Learn what care is required for the Colon Polyp Removal procedure. Find out what you need to do prior to the procedure, how long it will take, if you will be required to stay in the hospital and what the postoperative care is.

Colon Polyp Removal Details

Alternate Names for Colon Polyp Removal:
Colon polypectomy

What to Expect Prior to Procedure

Your doctor will likely do the following:

  • Physical exam and health history
  • Review of medicines
  • Test your stool for hidden blood (called "occult blood")
  • X-rays - an exam that uses small amounts of radiation to make a picture of the inside of the body
  • Barium enema -x-ray exam that uses contrast to help better see the colon
  • Diagnostic colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy-examination of the inside of the intestine with an endoscope

Your colon must be completely cleaned before the procedure. Any stool left in the intestine will block the view. This preparation may start several days before the procedure. Follow your doctor's instructions, which may include any of the following cleansing methods:

  • Enemas -fluid introduced into the rectum to stimulate a bowel movement
  • Laxatives-medicines that cause you to have soft bowel movements
  • A clear-liquid diet
  • Oral cathartic medicines-a large container of fluid to drink, which stimulates a bowel movement

Leading up to your procedure:

  • Talk to your doctor about your medicines. You may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the procedure, like:
    • Anti-inflammatory drugs (eg, aspirin )
    • Blood thinners, like clopidogrel (Plavix) or warfarin (Coumadin)
    • Iron supplements or vitamins containing iron.
  • The night before, eat a light meal. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
  • Wear comfortable clothing.
  • If you have diabetes, ask your doctor if you need to adjust your insulin dose.
  • Arrange for a ride home after the procedure.


You will receive a sedative. This will help you relax. You will be drowsy but awake.

Description of the Procedure

You will be asked to lie on your side or on your back. A scope, a long flexible tube with a camera on the end, will be inserted through the anus. It will be slowly pushed through the rectum to the colon. The scope will also add air to open the colon.

Using the scope, the doctor will locate the polyp. The polyp will be snipped off with a wire snare from the scope. In some cases, the polyp may be destroyed with an electric current. The electric current is also used to close the wound and stop bleeding. The polyps will then be removed for lab testing. When the doctor is finished, the scope will be slowly removed.

For larger polyps, a laparoscopic surgical procedure may be needed. Special surgical tools will be inserted through small incisions in the abdomen. The tools will be used to locate and remove the polyp.

How Long Will It Take?

30-60 minutes

Will It Hurt?

The special cleaning solution, laxatives, and/or enemas often cause discomfort. During and following the procedure, there is little or no pain. You may feel pressure, bloating, and/or cramping because of the air passed into the colon. This discomfort will go away with the passing of gas. Your doctor may prescribe pain medicine. If not, you can take non-prescription pain relievers for discomfort.

Post-procedure Care At the Care Center

The polyps will be sent to a lab for testing.

At Home

Expect a complete recovery within two weeks. To ensure a smooth recovery, be sure to follow your doctor's instructions , which may include:

  • The sedative will make you drowsy. Do not drive, operate machinery, or make important decisions the day of the procedure.
  • Return to your normal diet the same or next day. Avoid tea, coffee, cola drinks, alcohol, and spicy foods for at least 2-3 days following surgery. These can irritate the digestive system.
  • To speed healing, resume normal activities as soon as you feel able. Most people feel well enough by the next day.
  • Ask your doctor when you can participate in any rigorous exercise.
  • You will be scheduled for a follow-up colonoscopy in the future. It will be important to check for recurrence of polyps.

Your doctor will discuss the results with you either the day of surgery or the following day.


Learn what Colon Polyp Removal is
What Is
Learn what the procedure is. Find out how it is performed.
Reasons For Colon Polyp Removal
Reasons For
Find out why and when this procedure should be done.
Colon Polyp Removal Complications
Learn about possible complications and what might increase the risk of them.
Colon Polyp Removal Details
What to Expect
Find out how long it will take, what they will be doing and what to expect afterwards.
Colon Polyp Removal Results
What are the next steps and other possible tests needed after you have received the results.
When to Contact Doctor about Colon Polyp Removal
Call Your Doctor
What to look out for and when to call your doctor after a procedure has been done.

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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright ©2014 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved. Source: EBSCO