The colon, the lower portion of the digestive tract, is also commonly referred to as the large intestine. The intestinal tract is a long, winding, tubular organ comprised of the small intestine, the colon (large intestine) and the rectum, which together process food into waste.
Each year, more than 600,000 surgical procedures are performed in the United States to treat a number of colon diseases. Colon resection, the removal of a portion of the large intestine, is a procedure used to treat diverticulitis, Crohn's disease, volvulus and tumors, both benign and malignant.
Laparoscopic colon resection, introduced approximately a dozen years ago, is a technique rapidly gaining in popularity. Traditional "open" colon resection procedures are highly invasive, requiring long incisions and usually requiring six weeks for recovery. Laparoscopic colon resection involves smaller incisions-four or five, each about a quarter of an inch in length-and significantly reduces recovery time. Other benefits usually include a faster return to a solid-food diet and a quicker return of bowel function.
Most patients with diverticulitis, benign or malignant tumors, or Crohn's disease are candidates for laparoscopic colon resection, though some patients may not be considered due to obesity, existing scar tissue or extremely large tumors. In order to know whether or not laparoscopic colon resection is your best course of action, contact one of The Miriam Hospital's trained surgeons to schedule a consultation.
To learn more about why smaller is better, call 401-793-4545.