What are Esophagus Polyps?
A polyp is a mass of tissue protruding abnormally from the mucous membrane (protective lining of epithelial cells for secretion and absorption) of the esophagus.
Esophagus Polyps is a rare condition and affects about 0.5% of the population.
Esophagus is the muscular tube connecting the mouth with the stomach. Most polyps are benign but some can get malignant.
Types of Esophagus Polyps
- This condition is most commonly found. The polyps are smooth, round and grow from the wall of the esophagus . It is rarely cancerous and can be removed by an endoscopic procedure. Patients mostly don’t report symptoms from these. However, some may complain of chest pain and dysphagia. The latter is a condition characterized by pain and difficulty in swallowing food.
Squamous Cell Papilloma
– Men are more likely to have it than women. It affects the lower part of the tube and generally more than one are found simultaneously. Squamous cell paipilloma is rarely cancerous and is not thought to contribute to the future chances of developing squamous cell carcinoma. The projected structures are large and cause dysphagia or swallowing difficulties.
Fibrovascular polyp of the esophagus
– Even rarer than the above two, it occurs as a large mass of connective tissue, blood vessels and fat enclosed in a sheath of epithelial cells. It is suspended by a stalk from the wall of the tube discussed. It can be up to 50 cm long and occurs in the upper third of the tube. These are large in structure and cause symptoms definitively. The symptoms could be chest pain, dysphagia, regurgitation and repiratory problems. 87 % patients reported swallowing difficulties in this condition. The adenomas or the tumors in this case, are mostly non cancerous.
Granular Cell Tumors
– These are very common and are even found on other organs like tongue and subcutaneous tissues of the skin. They are benign and do not cause any symptom.
Symptoms of esophageal growths
- Dysphagia or swallowing difficulty
- Chest pain
- Heart Burn
- Respiratory problems
- Gastrointestinal obstructions
- Partial regurgitation of the beginning part of the stalk to the mouth
Treatment of Esophagus Polyps
Occurrence of the polyps are very rare and are without any symptoms. Most of these are incidentally diagnosed. If they are benign and do not cause any symptoms they don’t need to be removed.
In certain cases, where they are large and cause obstruction in the esophagus, surgical intervention becomes necessary.