Dr Deepak Varma Gastro Surgeon Cochin

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Noncancerous tumours

Noncancerous cysts are known as benign tumours. They do not metastasize to other parts of the body, unlike cancerous growths. It is in the form of a mass or lump developing in any part of the body. The etiologies of benign tumours are often unknown though its development is attributed to the division of cells at a rapid and excessive rate. Normal body metabolism balances cell growth and division where old and damaged cells are replaced with new ones. When the dead cells are not expelled instead accumulated, they form tumours. Cancer cells spread through the body in a similar way invading other parts of the body and nearby tissues.

Benign gastric tumours

Benign gastric tumours are uncommon and seldom cause any symptoms. The potential for tumorous growths is evident in all layers of the wall of the stomach. Gastric polyps occur frequently and are benign eruptions that protrude above the mucosal surface. There are several subtypes of gastric polyps. They are broadly classified as neoplastic and nonneoplastic with further divisions according to their syndromes.

Neoplastic tumours:

  • Epithelial adenomas
  • Fundic gland polyps
  • GISTs or gastrointestinal stromal tumours
  • Lipomas
  • Leiomyomas

Nonneoplastic tumours:

  • Hyperplastic polyps
  • Inflammatory fibroid polyps
  • Hamartomatous polyps


  • Air contrast studies: Air contrast studies are done to delineate mucosal lesions. CT scan in different angles and radiographic evaluations of the upper GI tract are also conducted.
  • Endoscopy: Endoscopy is done for therapeutic as well as diagnostic purposes.
  • Ultrasound: With the help of sound waves consistency of the mass is determined.
  • MRI: High-powered magnets help provide detailed images of the body s soft tissues.
  • Biopsy: To ascertain the benign nature of a lesion, a biopsy may be conducted. A specialized instrument is used to remove a sample of the tissue for examination under the microscope.


Benign gastric polyps are treated with endoscopic resection. While polyps < 2 cms can be snared, bigger sessile polyps are surgically resected with minimally invasive approaches. I preoperatively treat recurrent metastatic GISTs with imatinib to decrease the size of a tumour before resection.

Authored by Dr. Deepak Varma, MBBS, MS (General Surgery)

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