Sessile polyps develop on the mucosa, the tissue that lines the colon and other organs. They are flat and round and mostly harmless, but some can become cancerous.
Polyps can be peduncled or sessile. Peduncled polyps grow on stalks, whereas sessile polyps lie flat in the shape of domes.
About 20–30% of adults in the United States develop colon polyps. These are often benign, but they can sometimes become cancerous. Due to this, it is important to monitor polyps, and, in some cases, it may be best to remove them completely.
In this article, we discuss sessile polyps in more detail, including the different types, possible causes, and treatment options.
Sessile polyps are often
Polyps can also be peduncled. Rather than forming a flat dome, as with sessile polyps, peduncled polyps
Common types of sessile polyp
- sessile serrated
Each of these four categories has the potential to turn into colorectal cancer, but this is most likely in cases of sessile serrated polyps.
The sessile serrated form is one of
Sessile serrated polyps are common and tend to
There are various theories as to why sessile polyps may develop.
- are over the age of 50 years
- are male
- have African American heritage
- have a history of inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
- do not exercise regularly
- have obesity
- consume a diet high in red meat
- lack fiber in their diet
- use tobacco
Many risk factors and causes overlap between the categories of polyps but have different strengths of influence. Genetic factors can also play a role.
Most of the time, sessile polyps do not cause any symptoms. In many cases, a doctor may only discover polyps during a medical exam or colonoscopy.
However, in some cases, polyps in the colon may cause symptoms, such as:
- stomach pain
- alterations to bowel movements
- blood in the feces
A doctor can perform a colonoscopy to identify polyps in the colon. During this procedure, the doctor will observe the large intestine and part of the small intestine through a colonoscope.
The colonoscope, which is effectively a camera on a tube that provides images of the walls of the colon, allows the doctor to see whether there are polyps present. The flatter the sessile polyps are, the harder they are to identify.
The doctor may also carry out a biopsy, which involves taking tissue from the polyps to determine their type and whether they are likely to develop into cancer.
Sessile polyps may not always require treatment. If a doctor identifies them to be harmless, they may decide to leave the polyps but monitor them on a regular basis.
People with a history of polyps have a higher chance of developing more in the future,
If polyps are cancerous or have the potential to become so, the doctor is likely to recommend removing them. If the polyps are in an accessible position, the doctor may be able to extract them at the time of the colonoscopy using a procedure called a polypectomy.
If the polyps are already cancerous by the time of diagnosis and the cancer has spread elsewhere, the person may need to undergo radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
Non-neoplastic categories generally cause less concern as they do not have the potential to become cancerous. Conversely, neoplastic variations are important to identify, as they may lead to colorectal cancer.
Sessile serrated polyps are
As polyps often appear without symptoms, it is a good idea to go for regular checkups.
A doctor can check to see whether polyps are present and take a biopsy to determine how likely they are to develop into cancer.
A sessile polyp is a flat or dome shaped mass that extends out from the mucosal layer in hollow organs. These polyps can be neoplastic or non-neoplastic. As neoplastic polyps have the potential to become cancerous, it is important to have a doctor diagnose and remove them, if necessary.
Polyps can develop in different parts of the body, but they most commonly occur in the colon. They are particularly common for individuals over the age of 50 years. As they often do not cause symptoms, it is important to go for regular checkups to maximize the chance of early diagnosis and a good outcome.