Treating Colon Cancer: Advantages of Robotic Surgery

Colon Cancer.  Is There A Surgical Robot In Your Future?

Colon Cancer is an all too common fact of adult life.  Although the use of colonoscopy and other screening tools in cities such as Los Angeles and other cities in the United States have helped to lower the incidence of this dreaded disease by finding and removing polyps before they become a problem, the fact is that colon cancer remains a common seen by colon and rectal surgeons.

If you see a proctologist, also known as a colon and rectal surgeon, when cancer has developed, you will most likely be told that you need a colectomy, or an operation to remove the part of the colon with the cancer.  More than likely this will be performed laparoscopically using small incisions. In Beverly Hills or Los Angeles, a new surgical robot might be used at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to accomplish the same goal with even smaller incisions.

What Are The Advantages of Robotic Surgery?

The robot, always under the control of the surgeon, will be used to remove the lesion.  The robot has the following advantages over open, or traditional surgery and laparoscopic surgery:

  • Flexible “endo-wrists” able to move in many directions.
  • 3-dimensional imaging, giving the surgeon an unparalleled view of the operative area.
  • The use of much smaller incisions.
  • An extra arm, the “third arm” to assist the surgeon
  • FireFly™ technology to allow the surgeon to evaluate the blood flow to the area.

Both the colon and rectum are susceptible to cancer.  The end of the colon and entire rectum are an ideal places for the use of the da Vinci Si™ surgical robot.  Using the robot for tumors located higher in the colon does not add an advantage.  Some surgeons however, use a “hybrid” approach for these tumors, using both laparoscopic and robotic techniques.  For tumors located in the rectum, the robot, with its 3-Dimensional cameras and flexible “wrists” is an excellent tool to accomplish the job.

Colon.  Rectum.  What’s The Difference?  A Short Anatomy Lesson.

The colon is a long muscular tube which removes water from the intestinal contents and moves the contents forward toward the rectum.  The rectum stores the stool until a convenient time for discharge through the anal canal.

The Operation.  The Robot.

For a robotic colon resection, you will first cleanse your colon at home, be admitted to the hospital, be taken to the operating room and undergo the procedure.  Your surgeon will place special ports, or hollow tubes into tiny abdominal incisions.  The robotic camera and tools will be placed through these ports, and the operation will be performed with a goal similar to open or laparoscopic surgery; to remove the diseased piece of tissue.

Your recovery will be similar to any type of colon operation.  Hopefully your discharge from the hospital will be sooner though, and you will be able to return to the activities of daily life quicker.

Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates.

Board certified surgeons who are also trained and certified in robotic technology and procedures are available at Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates.  They will speak with you, examine you and review your problems in a confidential manner.  You will be able to find out if you are a candidate for robotic or laparoscopic surgery.  (310)273-2310.