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any growth or mass protruding from a mucous membrane. Polyps may be attached to a membrane by a thin stalk (pedunculated polyps), or they may have a broad base (sessile polyps). They are usually an overgrowth of normal tissue, but sometimes they are true tumors (masses of new tissue separate from the supporting membrane). Usually benign, they may lead to complications or eventually become malignant. They can occur wherever there is mucous membrane: in the nose, ears, mouth, lungs, heart, stomach, intestines, urinary bladder, uterus, and cervix.
intestinal p's polyps in the intestines, usually found in middle age although some infants are born with them in the large intestine. Multiple intestinal polyps may be a hereditary disorder. In most cases they cause no symptoms unless they become large enough to obstruct the intestine or become ulcerated so that they bleed. When they do, symptoms may include cramping pains in the lower abdomen, diarrhea, and the passage of blood and mucus. Whether or not they cause symptoms, intestinal polyps should be removed, since any one of them may become malignant. Although all causes of intestinal cancer have not yet been discovered, it is believed that polyps are often a contributing factor.
nasal p's polyps in the nasal cavity or sinuses, usually produced by local irritation, sometimes as a result of an allergy. They are not dangerous, but if they grow large enough to extend into the nose, they may cause stuffiness and headaches. The allergy or other source of irritation responsible for the polyps should be treated; if the polyps continue to be troublesome, surgery may be necessary.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


A general descriptive term used with reference to any mass of tissue that bulges or projects outward or upward from the normal surface level, thereby being macroscopically visible as a hemispheroidal, spheroidal, or irregular moundlike structure growing from a relatively broad base or a slender stalk; polyps may be neoplasms, foci of inflammation, degenerative lesions, or malformations.
Synonym(s): polypus
[L. polypus; G. polypous, contr. fr. G. polys, many, + pous, foot]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


A usually nonmalignant growth or tumor protruding from the mucous lining of an organ such as the nose, bladder, or intestine, sometimes causing obstruction.

pol′yp·oid′ adj.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


An elevated 'tumor' mass, which is usually epithelial, and often neoplastic; polyps are common in the colon, ♀ genital tract, nasopharynx, stomach See Bladder polyp, Cervical polyp, Colon polyp, Hairy polyp, Inflammatory polyp, Inflammatory fibroid polyp, Juvenile polyp, Pseudopolyp, Retention polyp.
Colon Colonic polyps are usually epithelial, and are acquired or hereditary
Acquired polyps Adenomatous (tubular or villous) in morphology, ↑ frequency with age; although often asymptomatic, larger polyps are often announced by bleeding, or changed bowel habits; if really large, APs may form a leading 'front' of an intussusception; distinction between adenomatous polyps ('tight' round glands) and villous adenomas (finger-like fronds of elongated glands) has little practical importance–both have malignant potential; periodic colonoscopy and polypectomy yields a 3-fold ↓ in subsequent cancer; hyperplastic polyps are also acquired but are non-neoplastic
Hereditary polyps are epithelial and may overlap with each other
Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) A premalignant, AD MIM 175100 condition presenting in early adulthood with 100s to 1000s of colonic polyps, related to a loss of the normal repression of DNA synthesis in the entire colonic epithelium; adenocarcinoma occurs in 70–100% of Pts, prevented by prophylactic colectomy
Gardner syndrome A rare AD MIM 175100 condition with premalignant polyps of the entire GI tract, which is identical to FAP, but has, in addition, extraintestinal tumors; most Pts develop colon carcinoma; other neoplasms in GS Pts include bile duct carcinoma, osteomas of the mandible, skull, and long bones, soft tissue tumors (fibromas, lipomas), sebaceous cysts, and rarely, thyroid and adrenal gland cancers
Turcott syndrome A rare AR MIM 276300 condition associated with brain tumors, eg medulloblastoma, glioblastoma
Other colon polyps Hamartomas, hyperplastic polyps, juvenile and retention polyps–little neoplastic potential
Turcott syndrome A non-hereditary condition characterized by diffuse GI polyposis, accompanied by alopecia, nail atrophy, cutaneous hyperpigmentation, weight loss, protein-losing enteropathy, electrolyte imbalance and malnutrition
Peutz-Jeghers syndrome An AD MIM 175200 condition with hamartomas of the entire GI tract, predominantly of the small intestine, focal Paneth cell hyperplasia, melanin spots in buccal mucosa, lips, and digits, intussusception and bleeding; colonic adenocarcinomas, when seen in PJS, arise in adenomatous and not in hamartomatous polyps; PJS may be associated with Sertoli cell tumor with annular tubules, see SCTAT.
Female urogenital tract Endometrial and endocervical polyps are circumscribed foci of cystic glandular hyperplasia of the mucosa and may cause abnormal bleeding; carcinoma arising in such polyps is rare; when smooth muscle is also present, they are designated as adenomatous polyps DiffDx Polypoid smooth muscle tumors, benign and malignant. See Müllerian mixed tumor.
Nasopharynx Nasal polyps Inflammatory ('allergic') polyps of the nasal cavity are not neoplastic, but rather reactive to inflammation or allergy; unlike true polyps, nasal polyps display edema and chronic inflammation (eosinophils, plasma cells, and lymphocytes), are bilateral, recurrent, and intranasal
Skin Squamous polyps and fibroepithelial polyps or 'skin tags' are benign prolapses of upper dermis onto the skin surface, which have no neoplastic potential
Stomach polyp Gastric polyp It is often (incorrectly) assumed that colon polyps are analogous to gastric polyps; hyperplastic polyps (type I and II polyps by Japanese authors) comprise 75% of all gastric polyps; they are neoplastic, but are usually benign  
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


A general descriptive term used with reference to any mass of tissue that bulges or projects outward or upward from the normal surface level, thereby being macroscopically visible as a hemispheroid, spheroid, or irregular moundlike structure growing from a relatively broad base or a slender stalk; polyps may be neoplasms, foci of inflammation, degenerative lesions, or malformations.
Synonym(s): polypus.
[L. polypus; G. polypous, contr. fr. G. polys, many, + pous, foot]
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012


(pol'ip) [Gr. polypous, many-footed, octopus, nasal tumor]
A swelling or excrescence (tumor) emanating from a mucous membrane; commonly found in vascular organs such as the nose, uterus, colon, and rectum. Polyps bleed easily; if there is a possibility that they will become malignant, they should be removed surgically. Synonym: polypus

adenomatous polyp

Benign neoplastic tissue originating in the glandular epithelium.

antrochoanal polyp

A nasal polyp found near the posterior wall of the maxillary sinus.

aural polyp

Polypoid granulation tissue in the external canal of the ear attached to the tympanic membrane or middle ear structures.

bleeding polyp

An angioma of the nasal mucous membrane.

cardiac polyp

A pedunculated tumor attached to the inside of the heart. If situated close to a valve, it may cause blockage of the valve intermittently.

cervical polyp

A usually benign growth of the cervical mucosa.

choanal polyp

A nasal polyp that extends into the pharynx.
Enlarge picture
POLYPS: Polyps in the colon, seen endoscopically

colonic polyp

An abnormal tissue growth within the lumen of the colon. It may be benign or malignant. See: illustration

fibrinous polyp

A polyp containing fibrin and blood, located in the uterine cavity.

fibroepithelial polyp

A smooth-surfaced polyp of the oral mucosa, usually developing after trauma to the area.
See: acrochordon

fleshy polyp

A submucous myoma in the uterus, consisting of benign neoplastic tissue from smooth muscle.

gelatinous polyp

1. A polyp made up of loose swollen edematous tissue.
2. A myxoma.

Hopmann polyp

See: Hopmann, Carl Melchior

hydatid polyp

A cystic polyp.

juvenile polyp

A benign rounded mucosal hamartoma of the large bowel. This type of polyp may be present in large numbers in infants and is commonly associated with rectal bleeding.
Synonym: retention polyp

laryngeal polyp

A polyp attached to the vocal cords and extending to the air passageway.

lymphoid polyp

A benign lymphoma of the rectum.

mucous polyp

A polyp of soft or jelly-like consistency and exhibiting mucoid degeneration.
Enlarge picture

nasal polyp

A pedunculated polyp of the nasal mucosa. See: illustration

Nasal polyps are the most commonly identified nonmalignant tumor of the nasal passages. They are more commonly identified in men than in women.


The most common symptom of nasal polyposis is obstruction to the flow of air into and out of the nasal passages.


Steroid nasal sprays may improve airflow through the nasal passages. Surgical removal of polyps may occasionally be necessary when medical treatment is unsuccessful.

placental polyp

A polyp composed of retained placental tissue.

retention polyp

Juvenile polyp.

vascular polyp

A pedunculated angioma.
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners


Any growth or mass of tissue projecting, usually on a stalk, from a surface, especially a mucous membrane. Polyps commonly occur on the lining of the nose, the LARYNX, the intestine and the cervix of the womb. Most polyps are BENIGN but some become MALIGNANT. Surgical removal is generally easy.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005


the asexually reproducing, normally sedentary form of COELENTERATES such as the sea anemone (see MEDUSA). In the class Anthozoa the polyp stage is the dominant part of the life history, but in the Scyphozoa (jellyfish) it is often absent.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005


A lump of tissue protruding from the lining of an organ, such as the nose, bladder, or intestine. Polyps can sometimes block the passages in which they are found.
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


General descriptive term used with reference to any mass of tissue that bulges or projects outward or upward from normal surface level; may be neoplasms, foci of inflammation, degenerative lesions, or malformations.
[L. polypus; G. polypous, contr. fr. G. polys, many, + pous, foot]
Medical Dictionary for the Dental Professions © Farlex 2012

Patient discussion about polyp

Q. Blood in stools before and after polyp removel, Avms of the deodenel loop, inside hems, and 3cin tubuo adenoma Hi, On Nov of 06 I had a colonoscopy done and they didnt find any thing that could be mking me bleed and go to the rest room often. Then in Nov of 07 did a EDg and found I have AVMs of the deodenel loop.She Burned them and I didnt have any more bleeding till June of thei yr.On 6/6/08 i had another EDg done she burned more AVMs and on Mon I started bleeding again. This time she did a colonoscopy and found I had inside hems and a 3cin tubuolvillous adenoma inflamed.She cut, burned, and took it out in peices.She saye she will go back in Nov of this yr and look again. Two weeks after I had this done I had started to bleed again and had bad such bad pain in my hip I had to hold on to walk. that same day i started to bleed again. I bled out big clots and a bowl full of blood! A few days later the pain went away but was still bleeding ever time I had bowl movement!I can bleed up to 4 days at a times sometimes. I have been taking HC supp. and it seems to have stoped the bleeding and pain!

A. It is normal that after a polyp removal you will continue bleeding some more. However, if you feel like there is a lot of bleeding, and/or you are not feeling well, you should see a doctor as soon as possible to stop the bleeding or look for the source of bleeding.

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