Colon resection, also referred to as a bowel resection is a surgery that’s done to treat cancer in the small intestine, colon, rectum or anus, treat or relieve symptoms of cancer that has spread to the intestine, remove a blockage in the intestine (called a bowel obstruction), remove as much cancer as possible (called debulking), remove precancerous conditions before they become cancer (called prophylactic surgery), remove parts of the colon that are damaged by an inflammatory bowel disease or diverticulitis, fix a tear or hole in the intestine (called a bowel perforation).
A colon resection can be done using different techniques, and depending on what type of surgery you have your surgeon will make one or more incisions (surgical cuts) in your abdomen (belly).
- When one long incision is made on your abdomen, this is called open surgery. The part of your colon that has the cancer is removed through the incision.
- When several small incisions are made on your abdomen, this is called minimally invasive surgery. Small surgical instruments and a video camera are inserted into the incisions to remove the part of your colon that has the cancer.
- Robotic assisted colon resection is a minimally invasive surgery that some surgeons use. It involves the surgeon sitting at a console while directing surgical arms to conduct the surgery.
During surgery the part of your colon containing the cancer is removed, and the remaining ends of your colon are then sewn back together. This is called an Anastomosis.
Learn more about what robotic assisted surgery is and how surgeons use the technology here.
Reported benefits of robotic assisted colon resection surgery include:
- Patients may experience fewer complications compared to patients who had open , and laparoscopic ,,, surgery.
- Patients may stay in the hospital for a shorter amount of time than patients who had open , or laparoscopic ,,,,, surgery.
- Surgeons may be less likely to switch to an open procedure when performing surgery with da Vinci, compared to a laparoscopic surgery.,,
Dr. Amir L. Bastawrous, a colon and rectal surgeon at Swedish Cancer Institute in Seattle, discusses robotic colectomy
Risks & Considerations
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 Coughlin, Geoffrey D, et al. “Robot-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy versus Open Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy: 24-Month Outcomes from a Randomised Controlled Study.” The Lancet Oncology, vol. 19, no. 8, Aug. 2018, pp. 1051–1060, www.thelancet.com/journals/lanonc/article/PIIS1470-2045(18)30357-7/fulltext, 10.1016/s1470-2045(18)30357-7. Accessed 20 Jan. 2020.
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Risks & Considerations
Patients have also developed support areas where they are able to speak with each other about the surgery, their experiences, and any issues that they have faced during their treatment. To learn more check out the additional resources above or visit the community section of this website.
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 Al-Mazrou AM, Chiuzan C, Kiran RP. The robotic approach significantly reduces length of stay after colectomy: a propensity score-matched analysis. Int J Colorectal Dis. 2017 Oct;32(10):1415-1421. doi: 10.1007/s00384-017-2845-1.