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Can juvenile polyps grow in number and harm the child?

Q: My five years old son was born with syndactyly (webbed fingers). He was diagnosed with a rectal polyp a month back. Polypectomy was performed and the removed polyp was sent for biopsy. Biopsy result has come and it has been identified as adenomatous polyp. Now, the doctor is telling that adenomatous polyps generally grow in multiple numbers; but as the child is too young it is not possible to do a full colonoscopy with available machine at Guwahati and has asked us to wait till he turns 15 years old. Please answer my following questions:- 1. Is there an alternate way to identify colon polyps? 2. Where can I find a clinic with a colonoscopy machine for children? 3. Is there any other form of treatment available? 4. Is it not risky to wait till my son turns 15? 5. My baby has lost 5 kg in the last three months. Does he need to be evaluated?

A:There is nothing to worry about. The common polyps in children are juvenile polyps that are usually single, do not need further workup and do not have any malignant potential. I suggest the following: 1. Have the pathology slide reviewed. It might be a simple juvenile polyp. 2. If your child has no further bleeding, nothing needs to be done 3. If bleeding recurs, then a colonoscopy is indicated. If it is not possible in Guwahati, then you may need to travel to Delhi 4. The alternate test is a good double contrast barium enema. But this may not pick up the very small polyps. 5. If it is true that your baby has lost 5 kg weight, then he needs to be seen; although this may have nothing to do with the polyp.


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