What Are Bladder Polyps?

Bladder polyps, also known as bladder papillomas, refer to abnormal growths that can develop in any part of the bladder's internal lining. These growths can either be benign or malignant and can cause discomfort and complications if left untreated. This article aims to provide an in-depth understanding of bladder polyps, including their causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.

What are Bladder Polyps?

Bladder polyps are small to large growths on the bladder lining. They can be single or in groups, looking like grapes or cauliflower. They range from a few millimeters to several centimeters in size.

There are two types: sessile polyps, which attach with a broad base, and pedunculated polyps, which connect through a stem-like part. Their surface can be smooth, uneven, or multi-lobed.

Causes and Risk Factors

The exact cause of bladder polyps is not fully understood, but various factors may increase the risk. These include smoking, exposure to certain chemicals like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and smog, and working in industries with harmful chemicals such as hairdressing, mining, and textile or dye production.

Additionally, people with a history of schistosomiasis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm, may have a higher chance of developing bladder polyps. This is because the parasite can live in the bladder veins and lay eggs near the bladder wall, potentially leading to polyp formation.


Bladder polyps may not always present symptoms. Some patients may only discover the condition during a random diagnostic test carried out for other reasons. However, when symptomatic, bladder polyps may cause:

  • Alteration in regular urinary frequency
  • Tenderness on one side of the body (less common)
  • Painful urination (stranguria)
  • Frequent urination (pollakiuria)
  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)


The presence of a bladder polyp can be determined through multiple diagnostic tests. One of the most reliable tests is cystoscopy, a procedure that involves inserting an endoscope into the bladder to inspect its interior. If a polyp is detected, a tissue sample can be taken for laboratory analysis.

Other diagnostic methods include bladder washing or irrigation, where the bladder cavity is flushed with a physiological solution, and the cells collected are analyzed under a microscope. Additional urine and blood tests may also be conducted to look for any markers of bladder cancer.

Imaging tests, such as CT (Computed Tomography)and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging ) scans, can be useful to determine the polyp's location and degree of invasion on the bladder mucosa. A differential diagnosis may be necessary to distinguish bladder polyps from other conditions with similar symptoms, such as benign prostatic hypertrophy, urinary tract infections, and urinary stones.


Regardless of whether they are symptomatic, bladder polyps require surgical removal due to their potential to become malignant over time. The most common procedure is transurethral resection (TUR), which involves removing the polyp in small fragments using an endoscopic resector.

In advanced stages where the polyp has turned malignant, surgical removal of the bladder may be considered. Following the surgical removal of a malignant bladder polyp, the patient typically undergoes chemotherapy or radiotherapy.


Bladder polyps, although relatively rare, pose a significant health risk due to their potential to become malignant. It is essential to be aware of the symptoms and seek immediate medical attention if any are experienced. Early detection and treatment are crucial in managing this condition and preventing serious complications.

Article Disclaimer
The Wellyme Team

We understand the importance of reliable information, and our goal is to provide you with knowledge that empowers and informs your wellness journey.