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You May Not Need Surgery for Large Colorectal Polyps


Colorectal polyps don’t always become cancers. But the bigger ones are the most dangerous — and the most difficult to remove.

“All colorectal cancers arise from benign, precancerous polyps, so it is important to remove them,” says colorectal surgeon James Church, MD.

“The trick is to make sure that, when surgery is recommended for a large polyp, it is really needed.”

Screening colonoscopy usually finds polyps and allows doctors to remove them (a procedure called polypectomy). But not all large polyps can be removed during colonoscopy.

“Some patients with large benign polyps are told they have to have surgery — and that part, or sometimes all, of the colon must come out,” he says.


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