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Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery

Laparoscopy is a minimally-invasive surgical procedure that uses a laparoscope to diagnose and treat various disorders. Laparoscopes are thin fiber-optic devices fitted with a camera and lens.  Images from the camera are projected onto a large monitor for your doctor to view the inside of your body.

The colon and rectum are the major parts of your large intestine. Most medical conditions in your colon and rectum can be treated by laparoscopic surgery including:

  • Benign or malignant growth (cancer) in the colon
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Twisted intestine
  • Diverticulitis
  • Untreated constipation

Preparing for Surgery

Your doctor will order specific diagnostic tests before surgery. Talk to your doctor about any medicines you must avoid before the surgery. Do not eat or drink for at least 6-8 hours prior to the procedure. Any other specific instructions will be provided by your doctor.

Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery Procedure

The surgical procedure involves the following steps:

  • The surgery is performed under general anesthesia
  • Three to five small incisions are made at the skin of your abdomen
  • Gas is introduced into the abdomen to expand it for better visibility
  • The laparoscope is inserted
  • Images of the internal organs are visualized on a monitor
  • Special small surgical instruments are used to perform the surgery
  • Tumors or the abnormal part of your intestine may be removed depending on the medical condition
  • Your surgeon may need to shift to open surgery under certain circumstances such as excessive bleeding
  • Your surgeon performs internal stitches (if necessary)
  • The incisions are closed with a bandage

After the Surgery

  • You are given intravenous fluids
  • Pain medicines are used to manage pain
  • A catheter is attached to collect urine
  • Some patients need an oxygen mask
  • You will be encouraged to move around on the same day of surgery
  • You will be discharged within a few days after the surgery

Advantages of Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery

Laparoscopic colorectal surgery has numerous advantages when compared to open surgery including:

  • Smaller incisions
  • Less pain after surgery
  • Quick healing of scars
  • A short stay at the hospital
  • Quick return to drinking and eating
  • Quick return to normal activities

Contraindications of Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery

Certain colorectal conditions cannot be treated by laparoscopy. Your surgeon suggests an open procedure under certain conditions including:

  • The organs cannot be seen clearly with a laparoscope
  • You are overweight
  • Lots of scar tissue present due to previous abdominal surgery
  • Large tumor