Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery

Laparoscopic (“key-hole”) colorectal procedures are minimally invasive, and have the proven benefits of less pain, faster return to normal eating and drinking, faster return of bowel function and a shorter hospital stay. Overall patients have a faster recovery. Patients also suffer less complications, particularly wound infections. Patients are also less likely to suffer from general medical complications.

These advantages are particularly evident in patients 70 years and over. However all age groups benefit from the laparoscopic approach and the faster return to work and other normal activities.

With experienced specialist laparoscopic colorectal surgeons patient cancer cure rates and survival are equivalent for laparoscopic and open (conventional surgery). All patients can be considered for laparoscopic colon and rectal cancer surgery by specialist laparoscopic colorectal surgeons. The main circumstances that can prevent laparoscopic surgery being successful are the small number of patients who have large tumours involving other organs, or have had multiple previous abdominal operations or who have a very high Body Mass index (BMI).

Patients requiring surgery for complications associated with Crohn’s disease can also be considered. The main factor preventing the laparoscopic approach is patients who have had multiple previous abdominal operations.

In patients requiring surgery for ulcerative colitis the laparoscopic approach helps minimise the time in hospital and off work. All restorative operations and pouch formation can be done using the laparoscopic technique.

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