Traditional "Open" and Laparoscopic Surgery
Traditional "Open" Surgery
If your colon disease is severe, or if you are diagnosed with colon cancer, your doctor may refer you to a surgeon who specializes in operating on the colon. This surgeon will review your medical records and help you and your primary physician decide if surgery is right for you.
In most cases, the type of surgery recommended is removal of the diseased portion of the colon — known medically as a “colectomy.” This operation has traditionally been performed in what is known as an “open” procedure.
Because traditional “open” surgery requires a fairly large incision through both the skin and muscles of the abdomen, patients can take several weeks or months to fully recover.
Minimally-Invasive (Laparoscopic) Surgery
Minimally-invasive surgery has become increasingly popular in recent years. With this type of surgery, you avoid a large incision. Instead, several small incisions are made and specialized instruments allow your surgeon to view and conduct the surgery through these incisions.
Today you often have the option of minimally-invasive colon surgery. The technical term for this is “laparoscopic colectomy.” This means a laparoscope — a slender tube-like device with a camera — is used to allow your surgeon to see inside your abdomen without such a large incision.
Because minimally-invasive surgery means smaller incisions, it may also mean a faster recovery period, less post-operative pain and a faster return to normal activities. If you or a loved one are considering colon surgery, your surgeon may have already made you aware of this option.