Each year, more than 600,000 surgical procedures are performed in the United States to treat a number of colon diseases. Although surgery is not always a cure, it is often the best way to stop the spread of disease and alleviate pain and discomfort. Patients undergoing colon surgery often face a long and difficult recovery because the traditional "open" procedures are highly invasive. In most cases, surgeons are required to make a long incision. Surgery results in an average hospital stay of a week or more and usually 6 weeks of recovery.
A technique known as minimally invasive laparoscopic colon surgery allows surgeons at New Jersey Bariatric Center to perform many common colon procedures through small incisions. Depending on the type of procedure, patients may leave the hospital in a few days and return to normal activities more quickly than patients recovering from open surgery. In most laparoscopic colon resections, New Jersey Bariatric Center surgeons operate through 4 or 5 small openings (each about a quarter inch) while watching an enlarged image of the patient's internal organs on a television monitor. In some cases, one of the small openings is lengthened to 2 or 3 inches to complete the procedure.
What are the advantages of Laparoscopic Colon Resection?
Results may vary depending upon the type of procedure and patient's overall condition. Common advantages are:
- Less postoperative pain
- May shorten hospital stay
- May result in a faster return to solid-food diet
- May result in a quicker return of bowel function
- Quicker return to normal activity
- Improved cosmetic results
Excerpted from Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons' Task Force on Patient Information.