Bladder polyps can be treacherous

A bladder polyp is pedunculated and sometimes ‘benign’, although opinions differ on that concept. The growth of the tumor is often limited to the mucous membrane. Peeing blood is a bad sign, a symptom that something is wrong in the bladder. Just like a recurrent bladder infection. Once the polyps have been removed, monthly, semi-annual or annual check-ups are important. After all, polyps are persistent, they sometimes want to come back, even after the patient has been ‘polyp-free’ for years. Moreover, this growth can develop into a malignant tumor that settles in the muscle and metastasizes.


  • Is a bladder polyp dangerous?
  • Bladder polyps can be expansive or invasive
  • Symptoms
  • Causes and risk factors of bladder polyps
  • Examination, treatment and aftercare
  • Bladder irrigation
  • Two kinds
  • And after that…?


Is a bladder polyp dangerous?

Typical of a bladder polyp is that the growth is usually thicker at the end. In other words, it is stemmed. This relatively small tumor arises in the bladder mucosa. Sometimes it stays that way, but not always. Furthermore, bladder polyps have a tendency to recur.

Kidneys and bladder / Source: Pearson Scott Foresman, Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)

In almost 70 percent of cases, new polyps form after the removal of the polyp. That is why good aftercare and monitoring is certainly not an unnecessary luxury, especially because in principle benign bladder polyps can eventually become malignant and then grow deeper into the bladder wall.

Bladder polyps can be expansive or invasive

Characteristic of benign tumors is that they are expansive. That is, they push away the tissue around it. This is different with malignant tumors. These growths are invasive, infiltrating. They grow into the surrounding tissue, as it were, merge with it. The same thing happens with a malignant bladder polyp. That is why polyp tissue is always examined in the laboratory. The treatment, including the type of bladder irrigation after the procedure, and further aftercare will be tailored to the results.


The symptoms of bladder polyps can be very diverse. Some people only notice that they have bladder polyps at a late stage. However, there are always symptoms that indicate that something is wrong with the bladder, such as:

  • blood in the urine,
  • pain during urination,
  • frequent urge,
  • recurrent bladder infection,
  • Peeing blood is usually a bad sign. It is then important to go to the doctor as soon as possible.


Causes and risk factors of bladder polyps

The causes of bladder polyps, and why men are more likely to suffer from them than women, are still largely unknown. A lot of research is being done on this. There are all kinds of risk factors that can contribute to the formation of these growths, such as:

  • smoking,
  • excessive coffee consumption,
  • exposure to chemicals (industry),
  • parasite infection (schistosomiasis, or bilharzia). However, this infection (import disease) mainly occurs in tropical developing countries.


Source: FotoshopTofs, Pixabay

Examination, treatment and aftercare

If you have complaints that indicate bladder polyps, your GP will refer you to a urologist. After several routine examinations, the urologist will remove the bladder polyps with a resectoscope and have the tissue examined. This surgical procedure is called a TUR operation (transurethral resection).
Bladder polyps have a strong tendency to recur. In almost 70 percent of cases, bladder polyps are discovered again during a follow-up check with the urologist. That is why strict aftercare should be the motto after treatment.
Bladder wall
Strict control for recurrences is absolutely necessary, especially because these polyps can slowly change into a malignant form, which means that they become less expansive and more invasive in nature, and therefore grow deeper into the bladder wall. That is also the insidious thing about bladder polyps, which should not be underestimated.

Bladder irrigation

Every bladder irrigation is aimed at preventing recurrences. The fluid may contain a cytostatic (cell growth inhibiting drug). The type of bladder irrigation often depends on the outcome of the laboratory examination of the removed polyp tissue. The number of bladder irrigations and subsequent checks also depend on this.

Two kinds

Bladder rinses can generally be divided into two types:

  1. Bladder irrigation with cytostatics, or chemotherapy. The flushing fluid contains medications that inhibit cell division or kill the cells.
  2. Bladder irrigation with BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin). In this case, the irrigation fluid contains living, but weakened tubercle bacilli. Thanks to the body’s immune response, any ‘troubled’ bladder polyp cells are killed.


And after that…?

After the procedure, you will probably have to return to the hospital regularly for check-ups, during which the urologist will inspect the bladder using a cystoscopy. You will also have to undergo routine laboratory tests of blood and urine, perhaps supplemented with an examination of the kidneys. Even if you have been free of complaints for one or two years, you will always have to be aware that bladder polyps can return, although the risk of this decreases as the years go by.

read more

  • Always that annoying bladder infection (cystitis)
  • Bladder cancer is not a death sentence
  • This is how a malignant tumor arises
  • Urine – what can you tell from it?
  • Dangerous bleeding
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