Polyps Specialist

Farouk S. Tootla, MD, FACS, FACCRS -  - Colorectal Surgeon

Farouk S. Tootla, MD, FACS, FACCRS

Colorectal Surgeon located in Waterford, MI

Did you know that you may have colon polyps, which can lead to colon cancer, and never experience a single sign or symptom? Colon polyps are prevalent among men and women over 50 years of age; African Americans are at an even highest risk at a younger age. Seeing your doctor for a routine physical examination at least once per year and scheduling your colonoscopy as recommended are important steps in detecting and diagnosing colon polyps and colon cancer early and improving your chance of survival. Contact Dr. Farouk Tootla in Waterford, Michigan, to learn more today.

Polyps Q & A

What are colon polyps?

Colon polyps are cell overgrowths located on the colon lining. Although many polyps are completely harmless, others can become cancerous over time. Colon cancer is often fatal when not detected early.

Who is at risk of colon polyps?

Anyone can develop colon polyps, but people over 50 are at highest risk. Other risk factors include smoking, obesity, type 2 diabetes, alcohol use, and family history of colon cancer. Additionally, African Americans and those with inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis are at higher risk of developing polyps than others.

What are the signs and symptoms of colon polyps?

Colon polyps produce no symptoms in many patients, which is why routine testing is so important for patients over 50 years old. The only way to detect polyps is through diagnostic testing.

In patients who do display symptoms, the following are common:

  • Bleeding from the rectum, which can indicate polyps or other problems
  • Blood in the stool, which may look like blood or make your stool look black or like coffee grounds
  • Changes in your bowel movements, such as diarrhea or constipation that lasts longer than a few days
  • Abdominal pain
  • Iron deficiency anemia from blood in the stool which may not be visible to the naked eye

When should I see a doctor?

It’s important that you see a doctor if you’re experiencing unexplained abdominal pain, a change in bowel patterns, or notice blood in your stool. Additionally, you should be screened for polyps even if you don’t have symptoms, if you’re over 50, or have a family history of colon cancer.

How are colon polyps diagnosed?

Polyps are generally diagnosed during a colonoscopy, a procedure in which a lighted tube is inserted past the rectum and into the colon to allow the doctor to examine the lining of the colon.

How are colon polyps treated?

Colon polyps are usually removed during a colonoscopy so they can be tested. This can be done using a forceps, laparoscopic surgery, or even removal of sections or total colon and rectum. Removal of the colon and rectum is reserved for severe cases that can’t be treated any other way.