What Are Sessile Polyps?
Polyps are defined as clusters of cells that form in the tissues of various organs of the body. Any part of the body right from nose to the colon can be affected with Polyps. Polyps are classified as peduncled or sessile. A Sessile Polyp is defined as polyps that have the shape of a dome and lie flat. Colon is perhaps the most common area where a polyp develops. It has been estimated that approximately 30% of adults in the United States develop colon polyps.[1,2,3]
In majority of the cases, polyps are benign but a person with it has the risk of them becoming malignant. Thus, a person with a diagnosis of polyps is recommended to monitor the status of the polyps and in some cases people are recommended to get rid of them surgically.[1,2,3]
Sessile Polyp develops from the mucosal layer of a hollow organ in the body. These forms of polyps grow on the tissue lining of the organ in such a way that it makes it very difficult to diagnose and treat. This is mainly because of their ability to blend with the surrounding tissues so that it is very difficult to visualize them.[1,2,3]
Sessile Polyps are in most cases precancerous which means that a person with this form of polyp can develop malignancy at a later stage. The mode of diagnosis of Sessile Polyp is normally a routine colonoscopy and treatment is normally surgical with complete removal of the Polyp.[1,2,3]
What Causes Sessile Polyps?
According to researchers Sessile Polyps are primarily caused due to mutation of the gene BRAF. This mutation results in the cell dividing uncontrollably increasing the chances of malignancy. There are also certain risk factors that increase the likelihood of a person developing Sessile Polyps. These include males above the age of 50. Sessile Polyp is also commonly seen in African-Americans rather than whites.
People with a history of an inflammatory bowel disease are also more likely to develop Sessile Polyps. Sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and overconsumption of red meat are additional risk factors for Sessile Polyps. Genetic makeup of a person also plays a key role in increasing the risk of a person of developing Sessile Polyps.
What are the Symptoms of Sessile Polyps?
Sessile Polyps are generally asymptomatic and they are identified during a routine examination of when a person is being checked for some other condition. In some cases however there are some symptoms observed including pain in the abdomen, change in bowel pattern, and blood in the stools.
How is Sessile Polyps Treated?
Benign cases of Sessile Polyps do not require treatment. The physician may just recommend close monitoring with periodic examinations. Polyps have a high recurrence rate and if a person is diagnosed with it then the likelihood of that person developing them again is quite high despite complete removal. This further increases the chances of malignancies. This is the reason why physicians may decrease the gap between checkups to make it more regular.
In case if Sessile Polyps are classified as malignant then complete surgical removal of the polyps is the recommended treatment. It is the location of the polyps that determine whether the procedure to remove them will be minimally invasive or will require a major operation. If the polyps are accessible then they may be removed during colonoscopy. This procedure is termed as polypectomy. There are different types of polypectomy that can be performed to include cold forceps polypectomy, hot forceps polypectomy, and SNARE polypectomy.
In case if the diagnosis of malignant polyps is delayed and the cancer has spread then the individual will have to undergo radiation and chemotherapy along with surgical excision of the polyps. Polyps are categorized into two namely non-neoplastic and neoplastic types. The non-neoplastic types of polyps are benign and do not require treatment while neoplastic polyps have the potential to become malignant.
Sessile Polyps come under the second category meaning they are neoplastic polyps. The ability of this type of polyp to remain hidden for long periods of time often leads to delayed diagnosis and a compromised prognosis.
In conclusion, Sessile Polyp is perhaps the most concerning type of neoplastic polyps. It is flat and dome shaped and grows on the tissue lining of a hollow organ. The ability of these polyps to blend with the surrounding tissue makes diagnosis of it very tough and it may take years before it can be diagnosed. Sessile Polyps have the potential to become malignant and therefore if a person is diagnosed with Sessile Polyp then it required emergent removal of them.[1,2,3]
A biopsy of the polyp should also be taken to ensure that there are no malignancies and if there are then removal should be followed by radiation and chemotherapy. It is also important for people especially males above the age of 50 to go for regular checkups with colonoscopies as they are most at risk for developing Sessile Polyps.[1,2,3]