Question: My physician has recommended surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in my colon. Can you tell me a bit more about colorectal surgery?
Answer: The good news is that colorectal surgery has advanced over the past two decades, and most tumors can be removed through minimally invasive procedures, which means smaller incisions and usually faster recovery.
Colon surgery, often grouped under the term colorectal surgery, is a specialty surgery for diseases of the lower gastrointestinal tract, such as colon and rectal cancers, diverticulitis, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
Surgeries to treat disease of the colon include laparoscopic colon resection, minimally invasive single-port colon resection and transanal endoscopic microsurgery, or TEMS (removing a mass rectally without abdominal incision). Although every case is unique, benefits to patients can include shorter hospital stays, faster recovery and a quicker return to a productive life sooner, compared with traditional open surgery.
In addition to laparoscopic surgery's capabilities, the new single-port laparoscopic procedure involves a single small abdominal incision through which the affected section of the bowel can be removed and remaining sections re-attached. Usually post-operative pain, hospital stays and recovery time are shorter with this type of surgery compared with more traditional types of colorectal surgery.
TEMS provides a highly effective way to treat both benign and malignant rectal tumors. For selected patients, it can be a good alternative to major rectal surgery. In most instances patients go home the same or next day, are in little or no pain and do not require significant recovery time.
In the Northwest Valley, Banner Boswell Medical Center offers a full spectrum of surgical options to provide individualized care to patients needing colon or rectal surgery. Additionally, it is the only hospital in the West Valley to offer the TEMS option.