A polypectomy is a colonoscopy procedure that allows gastroenterologists to remove precancerous polyps — or growths — from the colon. The term "complex" refers to the number, size and/or location of polyps within the colon. Virginia Mason gastroenterologists routinely perform endoscopic removal of polyps in complex cases which might otherwise require an operation to remove a section of the colon. Endoscopic removal of polyps rather than surgery means that patients have a shorter recovery and a quicker return to daily activities.
Colon polyps are a common occurrence in the adult population, occurring in about one out of three people. A variety of inherited and environmental factors cause polyps to form in the colon. Not all polyps progress to cancer; nonetheless, gastroenterologists generally remove all polyps they encounter in the colon to reduce the chance of cancer developing.