Colon Polyps – Treatment Overview
While Given’s wireless, image-beaming system may sound like science fiction, it’s actually more than a decade old. In 2001, the company received FDA approval for a similar device used to get a close-up view of the small intestine. At that time, analysts expected Given’s approach to grow into a direct competitor to traditional colonoscopy. But company studies found that images taken by the mini-camera were not quite as clear as those from the in-office procedure. As a result, the company has pursued a more limited market for its device: patients who have trouble undergoing standard colonoscopies. The FDA on Monday cleared the company’s PillCam Colon for patients who have experienced an incomplete colonoscopy. Given estimates 750,000 U.S. patients are not able to complete the procedure each year, due to anatomy issues, previous surgery or various colon diseases. Even with this limited indication, analysts estimate the new pillcam could grow to sales of over $60 million in North America by 2019, with room for expansion as the technology improves. MorningStar analyst Debbie Wang said the company has shrewdly positioned the device as another tool in the gastrointestinal specialist’s kit, rather than a direct competitor. “Given’s management understands that the traditional colonoscopy is the gastroenterologist’s bread and butter right now,” Wang said. “So they didn’t want to do anything that would position this as a substitute.” Wang notes that Given’s PillCam costs $500, significantly less than the roughly $4,000 rate for colonoscopy. Eventually, she thinks doctors may use the device to attract adults who avoid regular screenings due to fears of pain, embarrassment and general discomfort. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines currently recommend regular colonoscopies beginning at age 50 and continuing through age 75, though most U.S.
Initial treatment If adenomatous polyps are found during an exam with flexible sigmoidoscopy , a colonoscopy will be done to look for and remove any polyps in the rest of the colon . The bigger a colon polyp is, especially if it is larger than 1 cm (0.4 in.), the more likely it is that the polyp will be adenomatous or contain cancer cells and need to be removed. In some cases, very small polyps [5 mm (0.2 in.) or less] may not be removed. Some studies have concluded that even if they contain adenomatous tissue, these polyps take so many years to grow that they pose little risk of cancer, except in people who have inherited (familial) polyp syndromes. 1 Most colon polyps are not likely to develop into cancer. If only hyperplastic polyps are found during your flexible sigmoidoscopy, you likely do not need to have a colonoscopy. These polyps do not become cancerous. In this case you can continue your regular screenings, unless you are at an increased risk for colon cancer because of a family history of colon cancer or an inherited polyp syndrome. Risks of removing polyps during colonoscopy Complications from colonoscopy are rare. There is a slight risk of: Puncturing the colon (less than 1 in 1,000) or causing severe bleeding by damaging the wall of the colon (less than 3 in 1,000). Bleeding caused by removing a polyp. Complications from sedatives given during the procedure. Ongoing treatment Regular screenings for colon polyps are the best way to prevent polyps from developing into colon cancer. Most colon polyps can be identified and removed during a colonoscopy.
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