Laparoscopic Colon Surgery
Laparoscopic colon surgery, also known as a laparoscopic colon resection, is an easier alternative to traditional colon surgery. The laparoscopic colon surgery provides faster recovery time for the patients and is less invasive than traditional surgery.
Using laparoscopic colon surgery, your doctor creates small incisions through which they can perform many different procedures. Usually the surgeon will operate through four or five openings that are about a quarter inch in wide, while they watch the procedure on a monitor.
There are many advantages to using laparoscopic surgery as opposed to traditional open surgery. These advantages include a shorter hospital stay, less post-op pain, better cosmetic results, a faster recovery to normal activity, a faster return of normal bowel function and a faster return to a solid food diet.
How The Procedure Is Performed
Using a narrow tube-like instrument called a cannula the surgeon enters the abdomen. A small telescope connected to a video camera called a laparoscope is inserted through the cannula so that the surgeon can clearly see the internal organs on a television monitor. Other cannulas are inserted so that the surgeon can work around inside and remove parts of the diseased colon and suture together the remaining tissue. Usually, the whole procedure can be completed through the cannulas.
Preparing For The Procedure
Dr. Balasubramaniam will discuss with you how you should best prepare for the procedure. Usually preparation includes getting bloodwork done, having a medical evaluation, an EKG and a chest x-ray. You will also need to provide consent for the procedure.
Before the procedure is done your colon must be completely empty. This means that you will need to take colon cleansing solution, and that you may be on a clear liquid diet for several days before the procedure.
It is common for antibiotics to be administered before the procedure. Usually taken by mouth, these antibiotics and the colon cleansing solution must be completed as described by the doctor.
Follow the instructions given by Dr. Balasubramaniam carefully as proper preparation determines whether or not the procedure can be done.
Is The Procedure Right For You?
Laparoscopic Colon Surgery may or may not be the best option for you. Reasons for forgoing laparoscopic colon surgery include large tumors, bleeding problems, the inability to see the organs during the procedure, a history of surgeries that have caused dense scar tissue, and obesity.
The day after surgery you will be encouraged to walk. In one or two weeks you should be able to return to most of your normal activities. You should be almost fully recovered two weeks after the operation, at which time you should schedule a follow-up appointment with the doctor.
As is common with nearly any procedure, there are possible complications that can arise. These complications can include: injury to adjacent organs, leaking where the colon was connected, infection, bleeding, and blood clots to the lungs.
You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience a fever over 101 degrees, bleeding from the rectum, increase abdominal swelling, pain that cannot be relieved by your medications, chills, persistent vomiting, persistent cough or shortness of breath, redness surrounding your incisions that is getting worse, pus drainage from any incision, or if you are unable to drink liquids or eat.