Gastric (Stomach) Polyps Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Gastric polyps or stomach polyps are lumps in the stomach lining that protrude above the mucosal surface. It may occur as a single lump or multiple polyps. Most stomach polyps are benign growths. Although rare, stomach polyps should be taken very seriously as there is a possibility that it can become cancerous.
Most stomach polyps are less than 1 centimeter in diameter. Larger polyps of 1.5 to 2 centimeters need to be removed and biopsied as these are more likely to become cancerous.
Causes of Different Types of Polyps
There are several types of polyps but the 3 most common include :
- Hypertrophic polyps which are the most common and often occurs as a result of chronic gastritis.
- Fundic gland polyps which are the second most common type of polyp and is linked to a genetic disorder known as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP).
- Adenomas which are linked to different types of chronic gastritis and is most likely to occur in a person with familial adenomatous polyposis. This type of stomach polyp is most likely to become cancerous.
Signs and Symptoms of Gastric Polyps
Most polyps go by unnoticed for long periods of time. It is often only discovered upon a routine upper GI endoscopy. If a polyp is large, it may cause more prominent symptoms like abdominal pain, nausea and stomach bleeding.
Since polyps can become ulcerated, it is not uncommon to experience symptoms similar to peptic ulcers. Larger polyps may even block the stomach and cause gastric outlet obstruction. This can result in vomiting, constipation and malabsorption of nutrients.
Treatment of Gastric Polyps
Surgery is the main therapeutic measure in treating polyps. There is always a chance of recurrence and patients should be closely monitored in the future. Treatment for other underlying conditions like gastritis is essential in preventing further polyps. Patients with infectious gastritis, usually caused by a chronic H.pylori infection, may find that the gastric polyps will resolve with proper treatment like H.pylori eradication therapy and acid suppressing drugs.