What are duodenal polyps?

The duodenum is the first part of the small bowel immediately after the stomach. This is the organ when bile and pancreas juices combine with stomach contents to start the digestion process in the body

What causes duodenal polyps?

Duodenal polyps are found in 0.3 – 4.6% of patients who have an endoscopy (a camera test) to look into the stomach and duodenum. Most polyps cause no symptoms and are benign but can have malignant potential and so are best treated once identified. There are polyposis syndromes that can also cause duodenal polyps (Familial Adenomatous Polyposis, FAP) and these carry a greater potential to turn cancerous.

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Duodenal polyps are usually diagnosed by an endoscopy looking into the stomach and duodenum. Once they are seen they are usually biopsied to see what type of polyp they are, and then further treatment can be recommended as necessary.

Sometimes duodenal polyps are seen on a Computed Tomography (CT) scan and then your doctor will recommend an endoscopy to investigate further.


Most duodenal polyps are initially treated with endoscopy by either burning them off, or by lifting them off the lining and then cutting them out.

Sometimes, duodenal polyps are too large to be removed by endoscopic techniques and need surgery.  Your surgeon will discuss the best treatment methods for your duodenal polyps when you meet in the clinic.

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