A polyp is a small growth in the lining of the colon, and a polypectomy is a procedure to remove one (or more) of these. Most polyps are removed during a colonoscopy, although some polyps may not be able to be removed if they are very large or in a difficult location. Polyps that cannot be removed using standard colonoscopy may require other specialized colonoscopic methods of removing polyps or surgery.

Where a polypectomy is carried out during a colonoscopy, tools are introduced into the colonoscope to catch and remove the polyp in a type of noose (polyps up to 20mm are generally removed this way).

These procedures are carried out under a light anaesthetic and can take between 30mins and 40mins to complete.


Having polyps removed via colonoscopy is a low risk procedure. The risks include:

  • Bleeding.
  • Gastro-intestinal perforation.
  • Infection.
  • Polypectomy burn (a very rare condition called post-polypectomy electrocoagulation syndrome which can occur when a polyp is removed).

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