The UCSF-John Muir Health Jean and Ken Hofmann Cancer Center at the Behring Pavilion is now open.  LEARN MORE >

Colorectal Cancer Surgery

There have been a number of recent innovations in colorectal surgery that allows us, in most cases, to treat your cancer in the most minimally invasive way possible with the preservation of bowel, bladder, and sexual functions.

Many of these techniques also can be used to treat benign and malignant conditions.

John Muir Health colorectal surgeons have extensive experience in minimally invasive surgical techniques.

Laparoscopic Colectomy: This minimally invasive technique for the treatment of early stage colon cancer is a specialty at John Muir Health.  Small incisions are made in the surface of the abdomen, through which a camera-equipped scope is inserted, which helps guide the surgeon to remove the cancerous tissue. Once the tissue is removed, the two ends of the remaining colon are connected to restore normal bowel function after recovery.  

Robotic Rectal Surgery: John Muir Health is one of the leading institutions performing robotic colorectal surgery in the Bay Area. Robotic surgery leads to faster recoveries and less postoperative pain than traditional open surgery. Robotic surgery has also been a pivotal advancement specifically for colorectal surgeries. Robotic surgery allows surgeons to operate more comfortably and lessens fatigue. Our robotic-assisted system offers high definition 3D magnification and 360 degree robotic instrument rotation, allowing the surgeon more precision and control than traditional laparoscopic surgery. This precision and control allows surgeons to reach cancers confined to narrow spaces and ultimately leads to better oncological outcomes.

Since 2007, when robotics was introduced to John Muir Health, our surgeons have performed over X amount of robotic procedures. Because of our vast robotic experience our specialized operating room team is able to work seamlessly together.  This team approach allows John Muir to perform a wider variety of procedures with higher complexity.

Having a robotic surgical option along with our considerable experience in laparoscopic and Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgery (TEM) allows us to offer these minimally-invasive surgical techniques to our patients with both benign and malignant colorectal diseases to provide superior quality of life and oncological outcomes. 

By utilizing the various components of the Enhanced Recovery after Surgery (ERAS) protocol at John Muir Health, it improves the surgical patient experience.  Pre-habilitation, or getting patients optimized to undergo surgery with nutrition, hydration, and attention to co-morbidities, is a component of the ERAS protocol as well as managing early feeding, early ambulation, and opiate sparing multimodal analgesia post-surgery, all of which contribute to optimal surgical outcomes. 

John Muir Health is a national leader in robotic colorectal surgery and was recently designated as the nations’ first nationally accredited rectal cancer center of excellence.  

Mesorectal Excision:  Also for the treatment of rectal cancer, this technique is designed to completely remove the rectum and surrounding fatty lymphatic tissue.  This technique will help to preserve nerves involved in urinary and sexual function as well as minimize residual tumor to offer the best outcomes and survival to the patient.        

Learn how we use radiation and chemotherapy for treatment