Tests and procedures used to diagnose stomach polyps include:
- Endoscopy, to view the inside of your stomach with a scope
- Tissue sample (biopsy), which can be removed during endoscopy and analyzed in the laboratory
Treatment depends on the type of stomach polyps you have:
- Small polyps that aren't adenomas. These polyps might not require treatment. They typically don't cause signs and symptoms and only rarely become cancerous. Your doctor might recommend periodic monitoring so that growing polyps or ones that cause signs and symptoms can be removed.
- Large stomach polyps. These might need to be removed. Most stomach polyps can be removed during endoscopy.
- Adenomas. These polyps can become cancerous and are usually removed during endoscopy.
- Polyps associated with familial adenomatous polyposis. These are removed because they can become cancerous.
Your doctor will likely recommend follow-up endoscopy to check for recurring polyps.
Treating H. pylori infection
If you have gastritis caused by H. pylori bacteria in your stomach, your doctor will likely recommend treatment with a combination of medications, including antibiotics. Treating an H. pylori infection can make hyperplastic polyps disappear and might also stop polyps from recurring.
Preparing for your appointment
You might start by seeing your primary care doctor or you might be referred to a doctor who specializes in the digestive system (gastroenterologist).
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.
What you can do
When you make the appointment, ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as fasting before having a specific test. Make a list of:
- Your symptoms, including any that seem unrelated to the reason for your appointment, and when they began
- Key personal information, including major stresses, recent life changes and family medical history
- All medications, vitamins or other supplements you take, including the doses
- Questions to ask your doctor
Take a family member or friend along, if possible, to help you remember the information you're given.
For stomach polyps, some questions to ask your doctor include:
- What's likely causing my symptoms?
- What tests do I need?
- What's the best course of action?
- I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Are there restrictions I need to follow?
- Should I see a specialist?
- Are there brochures or other printed material I can have? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you questions about your symptoms, such as:
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to worsen your symptoms?
- Do you have a personal or family history of colon cancer, polyps or familial adenomatous polyposis?
- Do you take medications to reduce stomach acid?