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Minimally invasive colon surgery

At Baptist East, surgeons can use advanced, minimally invasive robotic and laparoscopic techniques to perform colon resection surgery to correct a variety of colorectal conditions. These include: colon cancer, diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's Disease, inflammatory bowel disease, polyps, tumors (benign and malignant), and other injuries to the colon.

During a resection of the colon (which is also called the large intestine or large bowel), the surgeon removes the diseased or damaged portion of the colon or the entire colon, then sews the healthy ends of the intestine back together. This procedure is called intestinal anastomosis.

Traditional, open colon surgery requires long incisions in the abdomen, resulting in an average hospital stay of five to eight days and six weeks recovery time. Minimally invasive techniques require a much shorter hospital stay, and patients return to normal activities when they feel comfortable (except heavy lifting).

Advantages to minimally invasive colon resection include:

  • Low blood loss and less risk of infection
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Less postoperative pain
  • Faster recovery time
  • Faster return to normal diet and colon function
  • Quicker return to normal activities
  • Smaller scar due to smaller surgical incisions


Laparoscopic Colon Resection

During laparoscopic colon surgery, the surgeon makes four or five small incisions (about one-half inch), then inserts a laparoscope (a tiny telescope attached to a video camera) into one of the openings, allowing the surgeon to see inside the abdomen.

The surgeon then inserts miniature surgical instruments through the other openings and uses these to remove the diseased section of bowel and reattach the healthy segments. A slightly larger incision is usually made to remove the diseased section of colon from the body. The surgery takes 2 to 3 hours.

Colon resection using the da Vinci Surgical System

Some patients may be candidates for colon resection using the da Vinci Surgical System, an advanced technology that is less invasive and more precise, and provides a faster recovery than other techniques. During a da Vinci colon resection, the surgeon makes a series of 1- to 2-centimeter incisions, and inserts a miniature video camera and tiny, specially designed instruments through ports into the surgical site.

The surgeon maneuvers the instruments robotically, from an ergonomically-designed work station a few feet from the operating table. At the console, the surgeon views the surgical site on a high-definition video monitor that provides a magnified, three-dimensional view of the body’s interior. Other members of the surgical team stand by to assist, closely monitoring the patient and the robot-controlled instruments.

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