Tolga Erim, DO
- Staff Gastroenterologist
- Department of Gastroenterology & Therapeutic Endoscopy
- Digestive Disease Center
- Cleveland Clinic Florida
Polyps are abnormal growths that develop on the surface of the colon and protrude into the bowel cavity. They are very common in adults with the chance of developing polyps increasing as a person ages. Polyps can vary in size from a quarter of an inch to several inches in diameter and their shape can be flat or have the appearance of a mushroom if they grow on a “stalk”. Most polyps are benign and produce no symptoms but they can become malignant over time leading to colon cancer. However, some polyps can produce bleeding or changes in bowel habits such as diarrhea or constipation and in rare cases, abdominal pain.
Doctors are usually able to diagnose polyps by doing an x-ray of the bowel using a barium enema or through a colorectal endoscopy, such as a colonoscopy. Cleveland Clinic Florida specialists routinely perform colonoscopies to detect the presence of polyps in older adults who may be at risk for colon cancer. A colonoscopy is considered the most accurate screening tool to detect polyps since it allows for your physician to examine the entire colon and immediately remove any polyps found during the examination. Most colon examinations using the flexible colonoscope are performed on an outpatient basis using sedation so that the patient experiences minimal discomfort during the procedure.
If a polyp or various polyps are detected during a colonoscopy, immediate removal of these can be done during the examination by snaring them with a wire loop passed through the colonoscope. Some of the smaller polyps can be destroyed simply by touching them with a coagulating electrical current. However, larger polyps may require more than one treatment for complete removal or additional surgical interventions for removal due to their size or position within the intestinal lining. Once a polyp has been removed, its recurrence is very unusual but new polyps will develop in at least 30 percent of people who have previously had polyps. It is important for adults, especially those over the age of 50, to obtain yearly colon cancer screenings to detect the presence of polyps. Early detection and removal of polyps can help prevent colorectal cancer in many older people.
The Department of Gastroenterology and Therapeutic Endoscopy at Cleveland Clinic Florida is a nationally ranked program offering innovative diagnostic tools and treatments. Cleveland Clinic Florida is proud to have the largest small bowel enteroscopy program in South Florida and one of the largest in the state. Our world-renowned gastroenterologists and surgeons are experts in the early detection and removal of polyps to help prevent colon cancer. Take this opportunity to have your questions answered about polpy screening and removal techniques by Cleveland Clinic Florida gastroenterologist Tolga Erim, DO.
Tolga Erim, DO is a gastroenterologist whose specialty areas include advanced therapeutic endoscopy, endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) of difficult polyps, colon polyps, colorectal cancer, Barrett’s Esophagus, and disease of the biliary tract and esophagus. Dr. Erim graduated from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and later went on to become Chief Resident of the internal medicine residency program and he also completed his gastroenterology fellowship at Cleveland Clinic Florida. He completed his training with an advanced therapeutic endoscopy fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School.
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