Laparoscopic And Robotic Operations
Laparoscopic and Robotic Colon Resection for Cancer and Benign Conditions
A colon resection, also known as a colectomy, is a surgical procedure to remove either part of or all of the large intestine (the colon). It is used to effectively treat both cancer and benign diseases affecting the colon and rectum. A colon resection is often performed using laparoscopic or robotic surgery. Often referred to as minimally invasive surgery, laparoscopic and robotic surgeries are used primarily to treat early-stage cancers.
Laparoscopic and Robotic Colon Resection Procedures
A laparoscopic or robotic colon resection requires three to six small incisions in the abdomen for the insertion of a laparoscope, a long flexible tube that has a small video camera on the end, and other small surgical instruments. The video camera provides magnified, high-definition images that the surgeon uses as guides in performing the procedure. To improve the visual field, the abdomen is inflated with gas. Depending on a patient's individual condition, all or a portion of the colon and rectum, as well as lymph nodes and a margin of surrounding healthy tissue, will be removed. If only a portion of the colon or rectum is removed, the resultant ends will be stitched together.
Advantages of Laparoscopic and Robotic Colon Resections
Although a colorectal resection can be performed in a traditional open-surgery procedure, many patients now undergo laparoscopic or robotic treatment. Advantages of these type of resections compared to traditional colon resection include:
- Smaller incisions
- Less scarring
- Shorter recovery time
- Less bleeding
Laparoscopic and robotic resections are considered suitable procedure for curable colorectal malignancies.
Risks of Laparoscopic and Robotic Colon Resection
Risks from any kind of minimally invasive procedures are similar to open surgery, but one can expect fewer wound related complications. The complications include:
- Excessive bleeding from the incisions
- Damage to an organ or blood vessel
- Allergic reaction to medications or anesthesia
Laparoscopic and Robotic colon and rectal resection involves a steep learning curve for the surgeon who will perform it. Both the surgeon and operating room staff need to be thoroughly trained in the procedure to minimize additional risks to the patient.
Colorectal Cancer Treatment
Colon cancer refers to cancer of the large intestine (colon) while rectal cancer refers to cancer of the last 6 inches of the colon (rectum). Cancers affecting either of these organs are collectively known as colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in men around the world, and fourth most common for women.
Colorectal cancer occurs when some of the cells that line the colon or the rectum become abnormal and grow uncontrollably. Most cases of colorectal cancer begin as small, benign clumps of cells called polyps. Over time some of these polyps may become cancerous. Polyps may be small and produce few, if any, symptoms.
Regular screening tests can help prevent colon cancer by identifying polyps before they become cancerous. If signs and symptoms of colon cancer do appear, they may include changes in bowel habits, blood in your stool, abdominal pain, bloating, and fatigue.