Laparoscopic Colon Surgery: Minimally Invasive Colon Resections
The Colon Anatomy
The intestine can be described as a long, tube-like organ. It includes the small intestine, colon (also known as the large intestine), and rectum. When food is swallowed, it first enters the stomach and then travels to the small intestine where the nutrients from the food are absorbed. The waste and toxins then pass through the colon and are removed from the body through the rectum.
Invasive Colon Surgery
Every year, approximately 600,000 people undergo surgery in order to treat a form of colon disease. Common colon diseases that often require surgical treatment include; Crohn’s colitis, polyps in the colon, diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis, and colonic tumors (both benign and malignant).
Most patients are hospitalized for at least 8 days after colon surgery. This is because the procedure is quite invasive and requires that the patient is given special care. Recovery from colon surgery typically takes about 6 weeks.
Laparoscopic Colon Resection
Laparoscopic colon resection has been available since 12 years ago, but it wasn’t until recently that it flourished. Even now, only a few colectomy procedures are performed using a laparoscope. The majority of experts believe this is because most surgeons do not have the necessary skills to perform the surgery with this new technology.
During a laparoscopic colon resection, the surgeon makes a few small incisions (usually half an inch long) in the abdomen area. One of the incisions is used to insert the laparoscope (a small telescope that contains a tiny video camera), and the others are used to insert special surgical instruments required to perform the colon resection. Since the surgeon is able to see the inside of the body on a television screen, the surgery can be performed with minimal invasion.
Laparoscopic Colectomy Benefits
- Surgery is performed faster.
- Shorter hospitalization stay and quick recovery.
- Smaller incisions are made and smaller scars develop.
- Less Painful
- Intestine function normalizes faster.
- A special diet is required for less time.
What are the Possible Risks?
While laparoscopic colon resection is considered less risky than conventional surgery, there are still some risks involved. These include;
- Excess bleeding or infection.
- Leakage in the colon where the resection took place.
- Accidental injury to other organs such as the bladder or small
- Blood clot formation.
Who Makes a Good Candidate for Laparoscopic Colon Resection?
Laparoscopic colectomy procedures are not frequently performed in the U.S. The primary reason is that there are few surgeons who perform this type of operation. With more surgeons becoming aware of the benefits of laparoscopy, this new surgical technique is gaining popularity. The surgery’s minimally invasive nature enables a wide range of patients to undergo laparoscopic colectomy, including patients with colon malignancies.
Ultimately, it is up to your doctor to determine whether laparoscopic surgery is a good choice for you or not. If approved by your doctor, laparoscopic colectomy can be a great alternative to open surgery. Bay Surgical Specialists are available to evaluate your condition and determine if laparoscopy is right for you.