Gastric polyps: cause, symptoms, therapy - NetDoktor - Diseases - 2021

Gastric polyps


gastric polyps are protuberances of the gastric mucosa inside the stomach. They can occur individually or frequently and differ in size and shape. Large polyps may cause discomfort, while smaller specimens often go unnoticed. Many gastric polyps are benign, others degenerate and develop into gastric cancer. Read all important information about stomach polyps.

ICD codes for this disease: ICD codes are internationally valid medical diagnosis codes. They are found e.g. in medical reports or on incapacity certificates. C16K31

Avoid smoking and alcohol as this may increase the development of gastric polyps.

Dr. med. Mira SeidelArticle overviewMagen polyps
  • description
  • symptoms
  • Causes and risk factors
  • Examinations and diagnosis
  • treatment
  • Disease course and prognosis

Gastric polyps: description

Gastric polyps are benign mucosal tumors which protrude from the stomach wall into the stomach cavity. They sometimes occur individually, but also occur in groups in many patients. Physicians then speak of multiple gastric polyps. If many of the tumors are present, it may be a so-called polyposis syndrome.

The mucosal tumors can be classified according to their shape or their origin.

Gastric polyps: variable shape

Some polyps sit flat on the gastric mucosa and are only slightly raised (broad-based gastric polyps). Others protrude rather globular or with small fringes (villi) into the stomach cavity. For some it seems as if a piece of the stomach wall is cut off and only connected with it by a thin stem (stalked stomach polyps).

Gastric polyps: variable origin

In the beginning, one distinguishes gastric polyps, which arise from glandular tissue in the mucous membrane, from other forms. The glandular growths are most common and are also referred to by physicians as adenomas.

However, polyps can also arise from other tissues (Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, juvenile polyps) or as a result of inflammation. In some cases, behind a gastric polyp, there is a fluid-filled cavity in a mucous gland (glandular cyst).

Who gets stomach polyps?

Gastric polyps occur in men and women approximately equally often and occur above all from the age of 60 on. In younger people, they are much less common. As hereditary factors also play a role in the development of polyps, sometimes several members of a family are affected.

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Gastric polyps: symptoms

Small polyps often go unnoticed. Only from a certain size solve the nature are and can occur also with many other illnesses. The following symptoms are possible signs of gastric polyps:

  • bloating
  • anorexia
  • Pressure sensation and / or upper abdominal pain

Occasionally the polyps bleed. Severe bleeding may then lead to hemorrhage (hematemesis) or black bowel movement (tarroma, melena).

Patients with gastric polyps often also experience gastritis (gastritis), which may be associated with nausea.


In most cases, gastric polyps do not trigger severe symptoms. But they are not completely harmless. Because although they are benign mucosal growths, some can degenerate and pass into gastric cancer. Especially the adenomatous polyps are considered as a risk factor: About one in ten develops in the course of a malignant gastric tumor.

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Gastric polyps: causes and risk factors

An exact cause for the development of gastric polyps is not yet known. However, it is known that decreased gastric juice production increases the risk of polyps. In addition, tumors of the mucosa are also caused by inflammation, such as in a gastritis.

In many cases there is also a family history of gastric polyps. A special case in this regard is the polyposis syndrome. In this hereditary disease, thousands of small polyps form throughout the gastrointestinal tract, showing a marked tendency to degeneration.

Last but not least, external factors seem to play a role in the development of the polyps. Thus, smoking and alcohol consumption promote the formation of mucosal growths. Even a high-fat, low-fiber diet has a bad influence.

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Gastric polyps: examinations and diagnosis

Gastric polyps are detected by gastroscopy. Because many polyps do not cause discomfort for a long time, they are often only discovered by chance during a routine gastroscopy. For longer-lasting, nonspecific complaints in the upper abdomen, this study is recommended anyway in order not to overlook a possible stomach cancer.

In addition, a tissue examination (biopsy) of polyps makes sense. For this, during the gastroscopy, the entire polyp is usually removed - more rarely only a small part of it - and examined under the microscope more precisely. With this method, the doctor can distinguish benign from malignant growths. An x-ray examination with contrast agent, on the other hand, is rarely performed on the stomach.