Your diagnosis

Hyperplastic polyp of the colon and rectum

This article will help you read and understand your pathology report for hyperplastic polyp of the colon.

by Shaheed Hakim, MD FRCPC, updated December 28, 2020

Quick facts:
  • A hyperplastic polyp is a non-cancerous growth in the colon and rectum.
  • Hyperplastic polyps are very common and they can occur anywhere in the colon or rectum.
  • Most are found during a procedure called a colonoscopy.
The anatomy of the colon

The colon is a part of the gastrointestinal tract. The end of the colon is called the rectum. Another name for the colon is the large bowel.

The colon is a long hollow tube that absorbs water and moves the waste products of the food we eat out of the body. The inner surface of the colon is lined by a flat layer of specialized cells called epithelial cells that connect to form glands.

What is a hyperplastic polyp?

A hyperplastic polyp is a non-cancerous growth that develops from glands in the colon. It is called a polyp because it usually sticks out from the inner surface of the colon.

Hyperplastic polyps are very common and are most likely to be found in the descending colon (the part of the colon on the left side of your body) during an examination called an ‘endoscopy’.

Although hyperplastic polyps usually pose no risk to your health, they can look very similar to other kinds of colonic polyps, some of which are associated with cancer.  For that reason, all polyps, including hyperplastic polyps, are removed and are sent to a pathologist for examination under the microscope.

Hyperplastic polyps do not grow back once they are removed completely. However, it is very common for new hyperplastic polyps to develop.

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