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Minimally-invasive colon surgery decreases pain, recover time

A minimally invasive alternative to traditional colon surgery is offering patients a shorter hospital stay, less post-operative pain and a quicker overall recovery. The main difference between this approach, and the traditional, open surgery, is the use of small incisions.

Using a laparoscope (a tool with a very small video camera and a light), the surgeon uses three to five incisions that are as small as possible – often less than an inch long. The traditional method (open surgery) is done through one large incision in the abdomen, allowing surgeons to have a direct view of the organs.

Laparoscopic surgery can be used for a number of colorectal problems, including benign polyps, diverticulitis and colon cancer. While most patients are candidates for this type of surgery, certain factors – such as prior surgeries and other medical conditions – may affect eligibility. Patients should discuss these options with their physician to determine the best technique based on their personal medical history.

Hospital stays range from two to seven days following laparoscopic colon surgery, but generally offer a quicker return to a normal lifestyle and less pain.

For more information, or a physician referral, call the Baptist Health Information Center at (502) 897-8131.