Submucosal Lesions in Illinois

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Submucosal lesions are growths that are under the mucosal layer. When they're present in the GI tract, they can appear as protuberances in the lumen. Often, submucosal lesions don't have symptoms associated with them and are found during routine exams such as an endoscopy or radiographic imaging study. In some cases, these lesions could be malignant. At GI Alliance of Illinois, our team of providers works diligently to ensure you understand the findings of an endoscopy or any other test performed. In the event further action is needed, we will guide you in the right direction. If you have any questions about submucosal lesions or would like to request a consultation with a GI specialist, reach out to your local GI Alliance of Illinois location around Chicago, IL to Peoria, IL, and Normal, IL today.

There are a variety of different types of submucosal lesions. These include:

  • Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GISTs): GISTS often occur during the fifth or sixth decade of life and commonly occur in either the stomach or small intestine. GISTs vary in size and are more symptomatic the larger they are. These symptoms often include GI tract bleeding, abdominal pain, bowel obstruction, and anorexia. Roughly 10 percent of these tumors are malignant. Surgically removing the tumor is often the desired treatment process for GISTs.
  • Leiomyomas: These tumors are benign and often appear in the distal end of the esophagus. They're usually small and asymptomatic but may cause dysphagia. Since they're asymptomatic, they don't require treatment. However, surgical removal may be suggested in symptomatic cases.
  • Lipomas: Lipomas are benign tumors that contain fat and may appear anywhere in the GI tract. They're typically asymptomatic, but they can cause obstruction, abdominal pain, or bleeding in some cases. If this happens, surgery may be suggested to remove the lipoma.
  • Granular Cell Tumors: These tumors are rare neoplasms. When they occur in the GI tract, they're often found in the esophagus or the oropharynx. Treating these tumors usually involves surgery. However, if the tumor is on the small side and asymptomatic, our Illinois team may choose to monitor it regularly before performing surgery.
  • Duplication Cysts: These cysts are a rare birth defect that are often found in the colon, ileum, or esophagus. Generally, they are asymptomatic and found during a routine endoscopy or radiographic imaging. They sometimes will cause symptoms such as abdominal pain, vomiting, dysphagia, obstruction, perforation, hemorrhaging, jaundice, or even pancreatitis. Treatment for these cysts can include surgical excision or fine-needle aspiration.
  • Carcinoid Tumors: These tumors occur from endocrine and nerve tissue. They may be benign or malignant. They often occur near the appendix, rectal area, and ileum. Some common symptoms include abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea. We generally suggest surgical resection and continued monitoring as a way to treat these tumors.
  • Ectopic Pancreas: These lesions contain pancreatic tissues and are often found in the distal stomach, jejunum, and duodenum. Generally, they are asymptomatic but they could cause obstruction, bleeding, pancreatitis, or become malignant. Treatment depends on severity but could include anything from routine observation to surgical resection.

Treating submucosal lesions often depends on the location of the lesion and the type of submucosal lesion. Often, these lesions are benign and don't have symptoms. When this is the case, they generally don't require surgery. However, if you have symptoms such as abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea, obstruction, or something else, it would be wise to visit your nearest GI Alliance of Illinois location. Depending on the size, shape, location, and symptoms, we may need to surgically remove the lesion. For more information on treating submucosal lesions in Illinois request a consultation today.

Most submucosal lesions that are encountered during routine exams are benign and have no cause for concern. Your GI Alliance physician will evaluate your endoscopic exam or radiographic imaging study and determine whether or not treatment is required. In most cases, lesions are asymptomatic and will not require any type of treatment. If you have additional questions about submucosal lesions or any other GI tract concerns, then please talk to your GI Alliance physician.

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