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Colorectal Polyps


Colorectal polyps are small growths of tissue in the lining of the colon and rectum. Most polyps are hyperplastic polyps and are usually benign (noncancerous). Certain types of polyps, called adenomatous polyps, may turn into cancer.


Follow up with your healthcare provider or gastroenterologist as directed:

You may need to return for more tests, such as another colonoscopy. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Reduce your risk for colorectal polyps:

  • Eat a variety of healthy foods: Healthy foods include fruit, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meat, and fish. Ask if you need to be on a special diet.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Ask your healthcare provider if you need to lose weight and how much you need to lose. Ask for help with a weight loss program.
  • Exercise: Begin to exercise slowly and do more as you get stronger. Talk with your healthcare provider before you start an exercise program.
  • Limit alcohol: Your risk for polyps increases the more you drink.
  • Do not smoke: If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Ask for information about how to stop.

For support and more information:

  • National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC)
    2 Information Way
    Bethesda , MD 20892-3570
    Phone: 1- 800 - 891-5389
    Web Address:

Contact your healthcare provider or gastroenterologist if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have chills, a cough, or feel weak and achy.
  • You have abdominal pain that does not go away or gets worse after you take medicine.
  • Your abdomen is swollen.
  • You are losing weight without trying.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You have sudden shortness of breath.
  • You have a fast heart rate, fast breathing, or are too dizzy to stand up.
  • You have severe abdominal pain.
  • You see blood in your bowel movement.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Colorectal Polyps (Discharge Care)

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