Bladder polyp: diagnosis, treatment and prevention
A polyp is an abnormal growth protruding from a mucous membrane. It is also referred to as papilloma. Some polyps have a stalk attached to the surface, such polyps are called pedunculated. If there is no stalk, a polyp is referred to as sessile. A polyp may be benign or malignant, or cancerous. Polyps usually vary in size and may be found in different organs, including colon, uterus, stomach, nose, bladder and other parts of the body where mucous membrane exists.
Bladder polyps are found attached to the lining of the bladder. The causes of the disease are poorly understood. It is only known that men and people over 55 are more likely to be affected. People who suffered from schistosomiasis infection are also at increased risk. This infection is spread in developing countries, such as South Africa and the Caribbean. Exposure to industrial chemicals and cigarette smoke may also provoke bladder polyps.
Polyps often form without causing any symptoms, so people may be unaware that they have a polyp. But is some cases polyps may cause the following symptoms:
- bloody urine;
- pain during urination;
- among rare symptoms are nausea, indigestion and heartburn.
Diagnosis and treatment
In fact, a lot of other urinary tract diseases may cause similar symptoms, so polyps are often misdiagnosed. In order to confirm the diagnosis, medical examination and cystoscopy is performed. Cystoscopy is a procedure that involves inserting of a cystoscope (a thin fiber-optic instrument) into the bladder, that makes it possible to see inside the bladder. A urine test usually shows blood cells in the urine if a polyp is present in the bladder. A biopsy of a tissue should be made to check polyp for the presence of malignant cells.
It is recommended to remove bladder polyp once it is diagnosed, even if it causes no symptoms. The reason is if it left untreated, benign polyps may transfer into cancerous, they may enlarge and interfere with other organs, or cause other complications among which are cancer, cystitis, urethritis and pyelonephritis. Besides polyps hardly ever go away on their own.
Surgical removal is performed using a cystoscope. Antiseptics and local anesthesia are administrated before the procedure. A polyp is either cut with special instrument or is destroyed with fulguration (electrical current). Removal is rather simple and quick procedure and you will be able to return to everyday activities the very next day. You may just feel some discomfort during urination or notice blood in the urine, but these signs will go away after a couple of days.
The disease may recur in rare cases after the surgery, but usually it goes away successfully.
If you experience any of polyp-like symptoms, consult your doctor as soon as possible. If you start treatment immediately, it would increase the chances or recovery and prevent complications.
Bladder polyp can hardly be prevented as its causes are poorly understood. Regular medical examination may help reveal the disease at its early stage and prevent complications. Don’t forget that the earlier a polyp is diagnosed, the easier and the faster recovery will be. Leading healthy life, including non-smoking, fresh air and healthy food would also be beneficial for your health.
These articles can be used for informational purposes only. To get an accurate diagnosis consult your doctor!