Stomach Polyps

Overview

Definition

A stomach polyp is a growth in the lining of the stomach. Most polyps are not cancerous, but some can grow into cancer.

Common types are:

  • Hyperplastic—most common
  • Fundic gland—found in the upper part of the stomach
  • Adenoma—most likely to later become stomach cancer (least common)

Causes

Stomach polyps often start because of injury or irritation of the lining of the stomach. This may happen with:

  • Aging
  • Stomach acid levels that are too high or too low
  • Infections
  • Health problems

Some stomach polyps may also be caused by problems with genes.

Risk Factors

This problem is more common in older adults. Other things that may raise the risk are:

  • Gastritis
  • Helicobacter pylori infection
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Gastric ulcers
  • Prior stomach surgery
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease ( GERD )
  • Long term use of medicines that lower acid in the stomach
  • Having other family members with this problem
Gastric Ulcer
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SymptomsandDiagnosis

Symptoms

Most stomach polyps do not cause problems.

Larger polyps may cause:

  • Belly pain
  • Blood in vomit or stool
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of hunger
  • Heartburn
  • Problems swallowing

Diagnosis

Polyps are often found during images taken for other reasons. More tests may be done, such as:

  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Upper GI endoscopy —a thin, lighted tube placed in the mouth to view inside the stomach

Treatments

Treatment

Most stomach polyps will not need to be treated. Small polyps that may have a risk of cancer will be watched. They may not need to be taken out.

Polyps that cause problems may need to be treated. This will depend on the size, number, and type of polyps. Antibiotics may be used to help shrink them.

Large polyps or those with a high risk of turning into cancer may be taken out. This can be done with:

  • Endoscopy
  • Gastrostomy —removal through a cut in the stomach wall
  • Partial gastrectomy —partial removal of the stomach to remove multiple polyps

Prevention

There are no known guidelines to prevent this health problem.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.

a (Gastric Polyps)

RESOURCES

American College of Gastroenterology http://patients.gi.org 

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases https://www.niddk.nih.gov 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Association of Gastroenterology https://www.cag-acg.org 

Canadian Cancer Society https://www.cancer.ca 

References

Non-cancerous tumours of the stomach. Canadian Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/stomach/stomach-cancer/non-cancerous-tumours/?region=on. Accessed March 25, 2021.

Shaib YH, Rugge M, et al. Management of gastric polyps: an endoscopy approach. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2013;11(11):1374-1384.