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What are possible complications of colon polyp removal?

Complications during the removal of colon polyps are quite rare but worth mentioning.

The most important of these are delayed bleeding and perforation of the intestinal wall. A small amount of blood (a teaspoonful or less) is relatively common, but a larger amount may occur in one or two of every 1,000 patients. If significant bleeding should occur, it can be treated by examining the area again and cauterizing the bleeding point.

Perforation of the intestine also is quite rare, occurring in only about two patients of every 1,000 who have colon polyps removed. In the unlikely event that this should occur, patients may experience lower abdominal pain, chills, or difficulty urinating. If a perforation occurs, immediate care by your colorectal surgeon is necessary. This may only require antibiotics and bed rest. In some situations, an immediate abdominal operation with a temporary colostomy may be required. The risks of cancer or polyps being present are much greater than the risks of bleeding or perforation.
Polyp removal (or polypectomy) during colonoscopy is a routine outpatient procedure. Possible complications, which are uncommon, include bleeding from the polypectomy site and perforation (a hole or tear) of the colon. Bleeding from the polypectomy site can be immediate or delayed for several days; persistent bleeding can almost always be stopped by treatment during another colonoscopy. Perforations rarely occur and may require surgery to repair. 
Complications of colon polyp removal include bleeding from the removal site, infection at the removal site, and perforation of the colon. Overall, the risk of these complications is relatively low. However, you should discuss these risks as well as any other concerns you have regarding colonoscopy with the gastroenterologist (GI doctor) who will be performing your procedure.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.