Minimally Invasive Surgery

The treatment of many diseases related to the colon and rectum often require surgery. As part of the decision process, patients are often uncertain of which technique to undergo: traditional or minimally invasive surgery. To be able to decide, patients need to be aware of the following information:

What is a traditional surgery for the colon and rectum?

Open surgeries are surgeries that require a big incision, large enough to clearly view the target organs, and perform using hand-held surgical instruments. The incision may vary between 6 to 12 inches in length. These large incisions can cause more pain leading to a longer recovery and hospital stay.

What is Minimally Invasive Colon and Rectal Surgery? In what way does it benefit the patient?

Minimally invasive procedures use more advanced technologies in comparison to the traditional way. It eliminates the need for large incisions causing less pain and can be performed with minimal/ less visible scars. The development of these techniques has a great benefit for the patient to be fully recovered and able to go home within a couple of days after surgery. It has been shown to have a shorter hospital stay, less discomfort, less need for prescription pain medications, as well as an early return to normal activities. This technique requires a specialized surgeon with advanced technical skills to be able to use specialized equipment during the surgery. Surgeons often have more experience with some techniques than others and can discuss with you the specific technique recommended for your operation.

What colon and rectal operations can be done with minimally invasive surgery?

Minimally invasive surgery can be successfully done for many common benign colon and rectal conditions including Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, colon polyps, and rectal prolapse. By using this advanced technique, the colon and the rectum may be removed entirely or partially depending on the specific case. Minimally invasive techniques can also be used to create an ostomy (surgically created opening between an internal organ and the body surface).

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