What are endometrial polyps? Overgrowths of endometrial glands and stroma that form a projection from the surface of the endometrium (lining of the uterus).
Endometrial polyps are a common cause of abnormal uterine bleeding in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women. They may also be asymptomatic.
The great majority of endometrial polyps are benign, but malignancy occurs in some women.
How is a endometrial polyp diagnosed? Usually a transvaginal ultrasound is sufficient. If there is an uncertain finding on ultrasound alone we suggest sonohysterography (water is infused into the uterine cavity to obtain a clear picture with ultrasound or a diagnostic hysteroscopy where a small tube like camera is passed through the vagina and into the uterine cavity and visualized on a monitor.
How is a endometrial polyp treated? For premenopausal women, symptomatic polyps require removal. We also suggest removal of asymptomatic polyps in premenopausal women with risk factors for endometrial cancer. Removal of the polyp is also a reasonable option for women with polyps that are >1.5 cm, multiple or for women who are infertile. For postmenopausal women, we recommend removal of all endometrial polyps.
How is a polyp removed? With a procedure called polypectomy, a minimally invasive procedure, usually performed under general anesthesia. Patients are normally discharged within 24 hours of surgery. This requires the use of a small scope that is placed through the vagina and into the uterine cavity used to extract the polyp under visualization. With this minor procedure the abnormal tissue can be removed and further examined.