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What are esophageal polyps?

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Quick Answer

Esophageal polyps are abnormal growths containing tissue and cells that occur on the inside of the esophagus, as noted by WebMD. They can be cancerous but, more often than not, are benign. Since the esophagus is located in the upper gastrointestinal tract, a doctor can perform an upper gastrointestinal, or UGI, endoscopy to locate, analyze and, if necessary, treat any polyps that are found.

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What are esophageal polyps?
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Full Answer

An endoscope is a small, slender instrument that allows a doctor to see down a patient's throat, esophagus, stomach and the upper parts of the small intestine. During this procedure, the doctor can search for polyps in addition to other abnormalities, such as ulcers, tumors, infection, bleeding and more. If the doctor does locate a polyp, growth or other abnormality, it can be biopsied and tested to determine if it is benign or malignant. Polyps can be removed, and bleeding can be stopped during the endoscopic procedure.

According to WebMD, the procedure is generally simple to perform, and the recovery time is relatively short. The risks are also low, and major complications are rare. Once a polyp or abnormality has been tested, it can be determined whether or not it is necessary to remove it. Generally, polyps of the esophagus are harmlessly removed, Mayo Clinic notes, whereas it is more common to find cancerous polyps in the colon or lower gastrointestinal tract.

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