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Find a Colorectal Surgeon
When surgery is needed to help treat or correct conditions in the lower abdomen and colon, patients can have minimally invasive surgery, or laparoscopic surgery, at WakeMed.
In the past, traditional surgery on the colon, rectum, or intestines required a large incision. Now, thanks 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. We offer the Da Vinci surgical system for robot-assisted procedures, a proven technology for minimally invasive surgery.
We can perform both robotic and laparoscopic options for many procedures, including left colectomy, right colectomy, low anterior resection, abdominoperineal resection (APR), and others.
Most patients can have laparoscopic colorectal surgery; however, if you have had multiple previous abdominal surgeries, morbid obesity, or some heart/lung conditions, you may not be eligible. WakeMed’s colorectal surgeons can help determine the best procedure to treat your condition.
Once a patient is 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 create space in the abdominal cavity and improve visualization. A small camera is inserted in one of the incisions, and it transmits images to a nearby monitor. Instruments are placed through other incisions to remove diseased sections in the colon or to excise growths or tumors. In some cases, a slightly longer incision may be needed if a large section of the colon needs to be removed.
After the diseased or damaged section is removed, the surgeon will then reconnect the digestive system. In some cases, the colon may be stitched together again and stool (waste) will continue to be expelled as it did before the surgery.
Some procedures may require that the colon is connected to an opening in the abdomen where waste leaves the body through an opening called a stoma. At the site, a bag is attached that can be changed as needed. An ostomy bag may be temporary or permanent based on the condition. If all of the colon and rectum are removed, the surgeon may use a portion of the small intestine to create a pouch to connect to the anus, so that waste is removed normally.
If the patient receives an ostomy bag, they will meet with a member of WakeMed’s nursing team to learn how to care for the stoma and how to change the bag.
Before Bowel Surgery
On the Day of Surgery
After the Procedure
Full recovery takes four weeks. There are activity restrictions, including no heavy lifting or working at a physically demanding job for up to six weeks. If you have a desk job, you may be able to return to work in four weeks (six weeks if you have a more physical job), but your doctor will recommend what is best for you based on how you feel.
If you or someone you care for is experiencing worrisome symptoms, we encourage you to make an appointment with one of our gastroenterologists or colorectal surgeons.
3000 New Bern Ave.
Raleigh, NC 27610