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 — For the treatment of early stage colon cancer, this minimally invasive technique in which John Muir Health specializes is as effective as open surgery, but involves less pain and a faster recovery time for the patient. Small incisions are made through which a camera-equipped scope is inserted that helps guide the surgeon to remove the cancerous tissue, then connects the two ends of the remaining colon to restore normal bowel functions after recovery.

Robotic Rectal Surgery — John Muir Health is the only Bay Area medical institution to offer this innovative minimally invasive surgical technique, leading to faster recovery times and less pain for our patients. Using the daVinci™ Surgical System, surgeons can operate with greater precision and control. The system’s 3D high-definition magnification and robotic arms allows them to reach cancers located in very confined spaces.

Transanal Endoscopic Micro-Surgery (TEMS) — Another innovative technique that John Muir Health specializes in for the treatment of early stage rectum cancers, this procedure allows us to remove the cancer through the anus without having to make any incisions. Patients usually leave the hospital the day after surgery with their sphincter and bowel functions preserved.

Mesorectal Excision — Also for the treatment of rectal cancer, this technique is designed to carefully remove all cancerous rectal tissue without severing the nerves involved in sexual or urinary function.

Hemicolectomy — For patients with more advanced colon cancer, we may need to remove several inches of the colon along with adjacent lymph nodes to remove the cancer. During this procedure, every effort is made to connect the two ends of the remaining colon to preserve normal bowel function.

Complete Colectomy — The complete removal of the colon is often offered as an option for patients who have the inherited genetic condition known as Lynch Syndrome as a prophylactic measure to prevent cancer from occurring. After the colon is removed, the small bowel is attached to the rectum to preserve the bowel function.

Colostomy — If we are unable to reconnect the colon, we need to perform this procedure, which creates an opening in the abdominal wall to expel stools from the body in an external bag. This affects only about five percent of our patients.

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