Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery
When surgery is needed to help treat or correct conditions in the lower abdomen and colon, patients can have minimally invasive surgery at WakeMed. In the past, traditional surgery on the colon, rectum or intestines required a large incision. Now, due to laparoscopic-assisted surgeries, patients have less pain and discomfort, a much smaller incision, quicker recovery, faster return to a normal diet and fewer complications.
Conditions that can be treated using minimally invasive surgery include:
- Growths in the Colon – both Benign and Malignant
- Constipation not Corrected with Medication
- Twisted Intestines
- Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis
Under general anesthesia, the gastroenterologist will make three to five tiny incisions – normally less than ¼ inch - in the lower abdomen. Gas is introduced to clear the region, providing a better visual field. A small endoscope is inserted in one of the incisions that transmits images to a nearby TV monitor. Instruments to cut out diseased sections in the colon or to excise growths or tumors are done through the other incisions. In some cases, a slightly longer incision may be needed if a large section of the colon needs to be removed.
If you have laparoscopic surgery for diverticulitis, a section of your colon will be removed and the remaining healthy section will be connected to the rectum. You may have a have a temporary colostomy if there is severe inflammation. An opening, called a stoma, is formed by connecting the healthy portion of the colon into the abdominal wall and stitching it in place. The opening will have an ostomy bag where feces can leave the body. This will give the area time to heal. Once it is healed sufficiently, your gastroenterologist will be able to go back in and reattach the intestine to the rectum and close the stoma.
Most patients can have laparoscopic colorectal surgery; however, if you have had previous abdominal surgery, obesity or some heart/lung conditions, you may not be eligible. Your physician can help determine the best procedure to treat your condition.
Learn what to expect from Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery