A female may have one or more polyps. Uterine polyps can vary in size from just a few mms to more than 6 cm (2.4 inches) wide. More than 95 % of uterine polyps are benign, which means that they do not cause cancer.
In some cases, uterine polyps do not cause any symptoms. But, some females may have the following symptoms-
- Irregular bleeding or spotting
- Heavy menstrual cycle
- Postmenopausal bleeding
- Prolapse, which occurs when the polyp comes through the cervix and protrudes from the uterus
Polypectomy is the surgical procedure of removal of a polyp. The most common types of polypectomy performed are uterine polypectomy and colon polypectomy.
However, a polypectomy can be performed on any part of the body which develops polyps, including the nose or stomach. A polyp is a growth that begins in the tissues and extends further into the hollow space.
Polypectomy removes the polyps which might be causing symptoms, maybe cancerous or need to be examined.
Methods for removal of Uterine Polyps
Smaller uterine polyps may at times go away without any treatment. The gynecologist would monitor the female to make sure the polyps do not get larger.
If the female has symptoms, she might need treatment for the removal of uterine polyps. The gynecologist would probably perform a pelvic ultrasound if the female has irregular bleeding or other symptoms.
In some cases, ultrasound alone cannot properly diagnose a uterine polyp. The gynecologist may then use a hysteroscope, a diagnostic instrument with a small camera to see inside the uterus. It is called a hysteroscopy and is often carried out to help diagnose uterine polyps.
Treatments for uterine polyp removal can include-
- Polypectomy– It is the surgical procedure for the removal of a uterine polyp. The female is given general anesthesia before the procedure so she has no pain or discomfort.
- Hysterectomy– It is the surgical procedure for the removal of the entire uterus. A vaginal hysterectomy is performed through the vagina. In an abdominal hysterectomy, the uterus is removed by making a small incision in the abdomen area. The female would be under the influence of general anesthesia for any of the types of hysterectomy.
Most females with polyps do not know they have them. When the uterine polyps cause symptoms, the gynecologist might recommend screening tests. In some cases, polyps are diagnosed as part of screening for anything else. Females who have symptoms related to uterine polyps, like pain or bleeding, usually need to undergo polypectomy to get uterine polyps removed.
Recovery after polypectomy
Recovery from a polypectomy usually takes 2 weeks. The female may feel pain after the procedure, especially in the immediate days after the procedure.
Taking the pain medication prescribed by the doctor can help ease the pain. It is normal to have spotting or light bleeding following the procedure. But call your gynecologist if the bleeding becomes heavy, stops but then starts again, or has a foul odor (which can be a sign of an infection).
After the uterine polyp is removed, it will be sent for testing. If it is not cancerous, the female will undergo an exam after the removal but will need no further treatment.
Like all surgeries, uterine polyp removal may also carry some risks, which include-
- Organ perforation- This can occur in case the organ being operated on is punctured. This can be fatal, but is rare.
- Excessive bleeding- Sometimes the wound may not properly heal in time, which can result in excessive bleeding.
- Infection- Any wound can get infected, and so is the case with polypectomy. Infection is more likely when the female ignores the gynecologist’s advice or is already in poor health.
Uterine polyp removal procedure (like polypectomy) can eliminate symptoms of polyps and test them for cancer. As with any procedure, the female should weigh the benefits and risks for her with the help of her gynecologist. For most females who undergo uterine polypectomy, the procedure is a minor inconvenience but can offer relief from painful and troublesome symptoms.