A colon resection or colectomy is the surgical procedure employed to treat a range of cancers and benign conditions affecting either the rectum or the colon (also called the large intestine or large bowel). In this procedure, all or part of the colon is removed, and the digestive track is then reconnected by a technique called an intestinal anastomosis.

The goal of colon resection and other colorectal procedures is to treat the condition while preserving normal bowel function. Some conditions that may be treated with colon resection or colectomy are:

  • Colorectal cancer
  • Diverticulitis
  • Benign or precancerous polyps
  • Injuries or block in the intestine

Today, the vast majority of colon resections are still performed using an open approach, or a large abdominal incision which often extends from the public bone to just below the sternum. Although very common, these open procedures involve an increased risk of complications, including infection, and require an extended hospital stay and recovery time.

Patients also have some more minimally invasive options available to them, such as conventional laparoscopic surgery where small incisions are used to insert long shafted instruments. These techniques can be very effective, but have inherent limitations when either the procedure or the anatomy is challenging or complex.

The robotic colectomy is a revolutionary alternative to traditional open surgery and conventional laparoscopic surgery that is available at Holy Cross Health in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It allows surgeons to provide patients with the best of both approaches. With the assistance of the da Vinci® Surgical System, surgeons can now operate using only 1-2 cm incisions, and with greater precision and control than ever before.

Unless a total abdominal colectomy is required, most patients needing a colectomy are candidates for a robotic colectomy. Even patients who have had prior abdominal surgery may receive a robotic colectomy.

For most patients, robotic colectomies may/can offer numerous benefits including:

  • Better clinical outcomes
  • Quicker return to bowel function
  • Quicker return to normal diet
  • Significantly less pain
  • Less blood loss
  • Less risk of wound infection
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Shorter recovery time

As with any surgery, the above benefits cannot be guaranteed, as surgery is both patient- and procedure-specific. While robotic colectomy for colon cancer is considered safe and effective, it may not be appropriate for every individual. Always ask your doctor about all treatment options, as well as their risks and benefits.

Contact a physician who performs minimally invasive robotic colon surgery: