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Medically Reviewed April 2023, by Mr. Bryan Mayou (GMC: 1414396) - founder of the Cadogan Clinic and one of the world's leading plastic surgeons
Cervical polyp removal is a simple procedure to remove these tissue growths from the cervix or inside the cervical canal (the passage between the vagina and cervix).
A special instrument is used to twist the polyps and pull them off, before removing them via the vagina. Usually anaesthetic is not needed, although sometimes a local anaesthetic may be used to numb the cervix if the polyp being removed is particularly large or broad.
Cervical polyp removal is carried out at the Cadogan Clinic as a day case, meaning you will be able to go home the same day as the procedure.
Words from our clients:
"I was extremely satisfied with the care and treatment I received at the Cadogan Clinic. My surgeon was friendly and informative and explained the procedure fully. My procedure went very well and with the excellent care of the nursing staff, I made a speedy and full recovery. Would recommend to anyone."Eva Berry
"At the beginning before the operation the nurse taking care of me made me feel so comfortable. The surgeon and anesthetist helped me feel so calm. Fantastic before and after treatment"Scarlett Elliott
"The girls on the reception at the clinic were very pleasant and professional. The nurse who took out my stitches after my surgery was just lovely and took me through step by step what she was doing and she also recommended a great cream to use to help with healing."Georgina Nolan
“I was treated with care and provided with thorough knowledge about the procedure I was undertaking. My surgeon was very methodical (a perfectionist) and I felt I received A class treatment."Courtney O'Sullivan
"Outstanding experience from the first appointment to being discharged. Very professional, friendly and a fantastic outcome."Gemma Stevenson
"Reception staff very welcoming and efficient. Both nurses who I dealt with were fantastic, and the whole team (anaesthetist, surgeon etc) were friendly but professional, and really put my mind at ease. That I was able to stay later than I perhaps needed after my surgery to fit in with my husbands schedule was greatly appreciated."Emma Davies
Cervical polyps are overgrown pieces of tissue protruding from the delicate skin of the cervix or the surface of the cervical canal. They can be red, purple or grey in colour and range in size from a few millimetres to several centimetres long. They come in assorted shapes too and may present as a thin stem or thicker like a finger. It is also common for cervical polyps to be bulb-shaped.
There are two types of polyps: ectocervical, which are found on the surface on the cervix, and endocervical, which come from the cervical glands. Ectocervical polyps are more likely to be found in postmenopausal women and endocervical polyps are more common in premenopausal women.
Cervical polyps are most common in women aged over 20 who have given birth vaginally (not via caesarean section) to more than one child and have now stopped having periods. Cervical polyps are rare in prepubescent girls who have not yet started their periods.
Most cervical polyps are benign (non-cancerous) and some women don’t even realise they have them as most women with these growths experience no cervical polyp symptoms at all. Sometimes polyps can be the cause of unexplained vaginal bleeding, for example, after sex and inbetween menstrual periods. Often the presence of polyps is only discovered by a doctor during routine tests or investigations.
Common cervical polyps symptoms include:
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, then you may have cervical polyps. However, two thirds of women with polyps of the cervix don’t experience any symptoms at all. In fact in many cases, cervical polyps are only discovered by a doctor or nurse performing routine cervical screening (a smear test) or another procedure.
It isn’t entirely clear what causes cervical polyps to appear. However polyps of the cervix have been linked to:
Sometimes the root cause of the polyps is never found.
Cervical polyps are easy to spot during routine medical procedures, usually during a cervical smear test. A small tissue sample (biopsy) may be taken from the polyp and sent to the laboratory for testing. The results will usually confirm that the polyp is benign, but sometimes abnormal cells, or precancerous growth patterns, may be discovered.
As the procedure is quick and straightforward, cervical polyps are usually removed at the same time as the biopsy is taken.
Cervical polyp removal should be carried out if you are experiencing any related symptoms, such as unexplained or irregular vaginal bleeding or abnormal vaginal discharge.
But even if you have no cervical polyp symptoms, you should still have them removed. The presence of a polyp can make it difficult for a doctor to carry out an adequate smear test. In rare cases, polyps can be an early sign of cervical cancer. Therefore polyp removal reduces the chance of this developing.
Cervical polyp removal is a quick and straightforward procedure and is usually done without the need for an anaesthetic. A surgical instrument called polyp forceps is used to grab the base of the polyp. The instrument is gently twisted and pulled, removing the polyp from the cervix. Once polyps are removed, they do not grow back.
If the polyp is particularly large or broader at the base, then it can be removed using a heated wire loop. If this is the case, the doctor will administer a local anaesthetic to numb the cervix.
Once the cervical polyp or polyps has been removed, it will be sent to the laboratory for testing.
Although waiting for the result may feel a bit nerve-wracking, you must remember that only a small percentage of polyps are found to be anything other than benign. If you have any concerns about the procedure, speak to one of our expert medical team who will be happy to put your mind at ease.
We have invited a selection of the country's very best consultants to join us at the Cadogan Clinic so that you can be sure that whatever the nature of your treatment, you will be seeing one of the top practitioners in the country.
The Patient Journey. A breakdown of what you can expect on your journey with us
We are deeply invested in ensuring that every step of your surgical journey with us is as informative and reassuring to you as it can be. This article outlines what you can expect at each stage of the journeyThe Patient Journey
Should a cervical polyp be removed?
Although most cervical polyps are benign and may not be causing any problems at all, it is a good idea to have them removed. If left in situ, polyps may continue to grow to a size where they will cause problems. The presence of polyps may make it difficult to obtain an adequate result from a smear test. Some polyps are early indicators of cervical cancer. A doctor cannot tell just by looking which polyps are benign and which aren’t. So it is always best to have any polyps removed.
How serious is a polyp on the cervix?
Most cervical polyps are benign (noncancerous). However a small percentage of polyps are abnormal and if left untreated, these may develop into cancer. It is not possible to tell which polyps may turn cancerous, so it is best to have them removed and they can then be sent away for tests.
If a cervical polyp isn’t removed, it may continue to grow. Depending on its location and size, a cervical polyp may affect your fertility. Polyps may also become inflamed and infected, resulting in an unpleasant, yellow, vaginal discharge.
How long does it take to recover from cervical polyp removal?
Cervical polyp removal is a straightforward procedure and the recovery time is anywhere between one and four weeks.
After your polyp removal, you may experience some vaginal discharge or light bleeding. This may last for two to four after the procedure.
The doctor will advise you to abstain from sexual intercourse for at least one week and also to avoid swimming, vigorous exercise and using tampons during this time. If your cervical polyps were removed using local anaesthetic and the wire loop, you should avoid sex, swimming, excersise and tampons for four weeks.
Is polyp removal painful?
Cervical polyp removal is generally not a painful procedure and many women find the procedure painless. However you may experience some abdominal pain, similar to period cramps. These should settle down quickly afterwards.
When treating larger polyps, a local anaesthetic is used to numb the area before a heated wire loop is used to remove them. You may experience cramps during the procedure as the local anaesthetic won’t prevent these.
If you find that you are experiencing lingering abdominal pain after your cervical polyp removal, then this can be treated with over-the-counter painkillers.
Are you awake during cervical polyp removal?
Yes, you are awake during cervical polyp removal as you will not be given any general anaesthetic. The procedure is quick and painless, although there is likely to be some cramping or discomfort. If the polyp is particularly large, or if the base of the polyp is broader making it more difficult to remove, then a local anaesthetic will be administered to numb the cervix.
If you are concerned about potential pain or discomfort, or if you have previously experienced pain or discomfort during a gynaecological procedure, please speak to our specialist medical team.
Can I get polyp removal on the NHS?
Yes, you can get a cervical polyp removal on the NHS. However the NHS has been, and continues to be, hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. High levels of staff sickness have had an impact on waiting times across the board. These waiting times vary from hospital to hospital. And any new waves of Covid-19 infections may result in this wait getting even longer. Because of this, many people choose to go to a private clinic for their polyp removal. At the Cadogan Clinic, there is no waiting list, so you can have the procedure promptly.
What are the risks of a polyp removal?
The benefits of cervical polyp removal outweigh the risks. However there is a risk of complications attached with this procedure.
There is a small chance of haemorrhage, infection or a perforation of the uterus. However these are rare and cervical polyp removal in an expert clinical setting is a safe and simple procedure.
Founded in 2004 by world renowned plastic surgeon Mr Bryan Mayou, we now work with over 100 leading consultants and successfully treat over 20,000 patients each year. We have been winning industry awards since inception.About Us
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