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Texas Medical News—Single-Incision Laparoscopic Surgery Speedy Recovery & Minimum Scarring

April 14, 2014

News spreads fast in the Texas  Medical Center. Surgeon Dr. Eric Haas often has surgeons who want to shadow him for a day to observe how the surgery works.

HM_Laparoscopy_Scars_WEBJennifer Gimon knew her colon needed to be removed when she found out she had a 100 percent chance of getting colon cancer. But she didn’t want to suffer through a six-month recovery like her aunt did when hers was removed 20 years ago.
Back then, her aunt, diagnosed with colon cancer, was 42 in the hospital and had to be fed through an intravenous drip for two weeks. Gimon’s aunt took six months after the surgery to return back to work.
“I was a ticking time bomb,” Gimon, who is 43, said. “Within 10 years I would have had cancer. But being the owner of a business makes it hard to even plan a vacation. I couldn’t afford to be out of work for long.”

The good news for Gimon, surgeons today like Eric Haas, M.D., colorectal surgeon at Colorectal Surgical Associates, can make a single incision into a patient’s bellybutton and remove the colon from the site, leaving behind only a tiny scar.

Haas, using this technique, removed Gimon’s entire colon. Within two weeks she was back to work. Like many other patients, she avoided the need to receive a colostomy. Laparoscopy allowed Haas to “reconnect” her just an inch of incision as opposed to a foot long incision using traditional general surgery.

American College of Surgeons: 42% Decrease in Complications and Death with Colorectal Surgeons Compared to Other Surgeons

November 6, 2013

web-lap-or-pixColorectal Surgeon Dr. Eric Haas, of Colorectal Surgical Associates, was the principle investigator on one of the largest research studies on post-operative care examining over 60,000 patients following colorectal surgery over a 6-year period.  The study investigated whether colon and rectal surgeons are associated with better outcomes.

The research analysis looked into patients with complications from rectal surgery in the United States. The study found that the odds of complications  and of dying  are reduced by 42% with colorectal surgeons as compared with general surgeons.

Complications were found by sifting through medical charts and included heart complications, digestive complications, infections and surprisingly higher medical bills, more than $1,000, on average due to longer hospital stays with general surgery than with colorectal surgery.

“For patients, its important to not only find the right surgeon but also the right type of surgery to have performed.” said Dr. Haas. “This type of data shows drastic differences in quality of life for not only those having the surgery, but loved ones that may have to care for them after surgery.”

Research Facts:

  • Patients: Non-emergent rectal resections
  • Timeframe: 2005 to 2011
  • Mortality Risk: General surgeons 42% increase
  • Average Hospital Stay: 8 days
  • Average Cost: $19,093

Source: American College of Surgeons

Dr. Eric Haas and Research Team Lecture at ASCRS Conference

June 21, 2013

Recently, Dr. Eric Haas and the Colorectal Surgical Associates research team attended the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS) Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. The conference covered a variety of topics, including Transanal Endoscopic Video-Assisted (TEVA) Excision. As an expert of this minimally-invasive method for removing rectal tumors, Dr. Haas was asked to participate as a faculty professor. Furthermore, he was invited to lecture at the “Meet the Professor Breakfast” session to discuss laparoscopy and robotic colorectal surgery techniques.

In addition to his TEVA and “Meet the Professor Breakfast” session lectures, Dr. Haas presented on several other topics, including:

  • Rectal cancer treatment methods – Dr. Haas presented a study comparing open, laparoscopic, and robotic colon surgeries for the treatment of rectal cancer. The research he provided shows that both laparoscopic and robotic surgery for rectal cancer are safe alternatives to open surgery.
  • Laparoscopic vs. open colon resection – The Colorectal Surgical Associates research team assisted Dr. Haas in presenting additional research regarding laparoscopic colon resection. In comparison to open surgery, the team showed that laparoscopic methods resulted in lower costs, faster recovery times, and greater overall long-term results.
  • Colorectal surgeon vs. general surgeon – Dr. Haas compared the benefits of a colon resection performed by a colorectal surgeon versus a general surgeon. His findings showed that colorectal surgeons generally outperform general surgeons in terms of the ability to achieve quicker recovery times and reduced hospital costs for patients.
  • Single-incision laparoscopic technique – Dr. Haas presented research about his experience with single-incision laparoscopic surgery, a technique in which an incision no larger than two inches can be used to perform the entire procedure.

Overall, the conference provided Dr. Haas and the Colorectal Surgical Associates research team the opportunity to share knowledge and expertise with other colorectal surgery leaders in an effort to improve patient care throughout the United States. Dr. Haas says his staff is not only able to share their knowledge, but also learn from their colleagues around the country to continually improve the quality surgical results and patient care.

Contact Colorectal Surgical Associates

For more information about TEVA and other rectal cancer treatment options, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Haas, please contact Colorectal Surgical Associates.

Dr. Eric Haas and His Fellow Surgeons Drs. Bartley Pickron and Ali Mahmood Highlight TEVA: Minimally-Invasive Rectal Tumor Removal

April 26, 2013

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with our colorectal surgeons, Dr. Eric Haas, Dr. Bartley Pickron, and Dr. Ali Mahmood, to discuss Transanal Endoscopic Video-Assisted (TEVA) Excision – a minimally-invasive procedure designed to remove rectal tumors without the use of incisions. Below are Dr. Haas’ answers to certain questions about the state-of-the-art technique offered at our Houston colorectal surgery practice.

Question: Is TEVA considered an alternative to another rectal tumor removal procedure?

Dr. Haas: This minimally-invasive technique is an alternative to the surgical removal of the rectum, which is a major procedure associated with a slow recovery, lengthy hospital stay, and the potential for major complications.

Q: What are the main benefits of the TEVA technique?

For the right patient, this technique is curative, which is the most important aspect. Furthermore, after the procedure, patients typically remain in the hospital overnight just to be discharged home and back to daily activities the next day. TEVA is also incisionless, so the risks for the development of a scar or hernia are completely eliminated. In general, there are very few complications associated with this procedure.

Q: Who is an ideal candidate for TEVA?

DH: Any patient with a noncancerous tumor of the rectum, or with early, localized rectal cancer, is an ideal candidate and should consider this procedure.

Q: How does TEVA enhance patients’ results?

DH: Patient outcomes are enhanced with this technique due to its ability to completely treat the disease while resulting in fast, pain-free recovery.

Q: How does TEVA enhance both the surgical process as well as level of care you provide patients?

DH: From the technical standpoint, the TEVA approach facilitates the completion of the procedure using expert skills and advanced techniques. This is a state-of-the-art technique that is performed by only a handful of surgeons in the United States, and it currently represents one of the more recent advances in the management of rectal tumors.

Q: How do you feel this technique aligns with the advancements and progression of colorectal surgery?

DH: When talking about outcomes following colorectal surgery, ‘Quality Of Life’ and patient satisfaction often come up as important topics. Therefore, colorectal surgery is trending toward less invasive procedures, while maintaining similar curative results. TEVA is not only a safe, feasible, and efficacious technique of the minimally-invasive armamentarium, but it is also one of the least invasive colorectal surgical procedures. We believe that as time passes and experience is gained, this technique will be widely adopted in the colorectal surgical community.

Contact Colorectal Surgical Associates

For any questions or concerns regarding TEVA, please contact Colorectal Surgical Associates today. Our staff will be happy to help you schedule a consultation with Drs. Haas, Pickron, or Mahmood.

Houston Colorectal Surgeon on Importance of Screenings for Colon Cancer Awareness Month

April 24, 2013

Houston, TX — According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), more than 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year and over 50,000 people die from the condition, making it the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Dr. Eric Haas, a colon and rectal surgeon in Houston, says there are a number of ways to help prevent colon cancer, and early detection can result in almost 100% cure rate. As the nationally recognized colon cancer awareness month comes to a close, Dr. Haas says he hopes to promote further education about colorectal cancer and its dangers in March, in addition to encouraging more people to undergo regular screenings year round to help prevent the deadly disease.

The CDC reports that more than 90% of all colorectal cancer cases occur in patients over the age of 50, a statistic Dr. Haas says he has observed at his Houston colon surgery practice. However, Dr. Haas also says patients who have routine screenings such as colonoscopies or stool tests have a much greater chance of detecting the cancer early on and potentially saving their life from the fatal disease. With the advent of advanced modern medical technology, Dr. Haas says patients and surgeons now have a number of reliable tools at their disposal for identifying precancerous polyps and growths. Having recently presented his findings at the annual meeting of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) in San Diego, CA, he says patient awareness of the available methods for detecting and treating colon cancer is now more important than ever.

A colonoscopy uses a flexible camera instrument called a colonoscope to internally examine the colon for polyps, which are non-cancerous growths that can develop into colon cancer. Dr. Haas says for patients 50 and over and for those with any warning signs, undergoing a colonoscopy in Houston can remove dangerous polyps and also be an effective way to reduce their risk of contracting colorectal cancer. While Dr. Haas and the CDC recommend patients seek a routine colonoscopy every ten years, he also says stool tests can help detect possible early signs of the cancer as well.

Through expert surgical techniques, Dr. Haas also says treatment of colon cancer has improved dramatically, with procedures that can help reduce scarring and pain as well as quicken recovery time. Dr. Haas is actively involved in the promotion of modern and innovative techniques such as Laparoscopic colon and rectal surgery. Previously colon surgery for cancer was performed through open surgery with a large scar across the belly. Dr. Haas and the surgeons at Colorectal Surgical Associates now use minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery to cure patients. In these procedures, surgical trauma is greatly reduced and the scar is much smaller. With this advanced technique, patients have significantly less pain and a quicker return to normal intestinal and overall physical activity.

Single incision Laparoscopic surgery is the most recent breakthrough in the history of minimally invasive, laparoscopic colon surgery. This technique involves one single, small incision, which is ‘’hidden” through the navel. The most obvious benefit for the patient is the lack of apparent scar tissue, with only a handful of surgeons worldwide utilizing this type of advanced surgery. Dr. Haas says patients benefit from these updated procedures in many ways, including a faster recovery period and minimization of blood loss and scarring.

In addition to having regular colon cancer screenings, Dr. Haas says one of the most important ways to help prevent the spread of colorectal cancer is to stay educated about the disease. He urges patients to exercise and sustain a regular body weight; eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and fiber-rich foods; avoid foods that are high in fat; avoid smoking and drink alcohol in moderation. By maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle and keeping up-to-date with the latest information regarding colon cancer awareness, Dr. Haas says patients can help prolong their life and minimize the risk of future complications.

About Eric Haas, MD, FACS, FASCRS

A graduate of the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Dr. Eric Haas completed his General Surgery residency at St. Joseph Hospital and fellowship training in Colon and Rectal Surgery at the University of Texas Medical School Fellowship Program. He is double board-certified by the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery and the American Board of Surgery, as well as a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a Fellow of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, and the Program Director of the Minimally Invasive Colon and Rectal Surgery Fellowship Program. Dr. Haas is also Faculty for the Baylor College of Medicine and an active member of the Texas Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract, and numerous other professional organizations.

Dr. Haas’ practice, the Colorectal Surgical Associates, has three locations in the Houston area: 7900 Fannin, Suite 2700 in Houston, TX; 16605 Southwest Freeway Suite 430 in Sugar Land, TX; and 11914 Astoria Blvd. Suite 320 in Houston, TX. It can also be reached at (713) 790-0600 or contacted online via the website, or, .

Rosemont Media
Aaron Hurst
(858) 200-0044


CSA on NBC Local 2 Healthbeat

April 23, 2013

Diverticulitis Treatments Rise 43%, Houston Colon Surgeon Says Robotic Surgery Offers New Possibilities

November 1, 2012

diverticulitis, colorectal surgeon in houston, robotic colon surgery, houston colon surgery

Houston, TX — According to a recent study from the University of California, Irvine Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery, there has been a 43% total increase in both elective and urgent surgical procedures to treat diverticulitis over the past ten years. Diverticulitis is a condition in which the diverticula, or pockets along the colon wall, become perforated and cause severe pain and even death.

In the wake of recent developments in robotic colon surgery, Dr. Eric Haas, a colorectal surgeon in Houston of the Colorectal Surgical Associates, recently published an article stating the benefits that robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery has been able to offer patients in need of treatment for complex diverticulitis. Dr. Haas says the innovative technology has opened a number of doors for improving both the safety of the procedure and the quality of the results.

Using enhanced 3D visualization and an advanced robotic console, Dr. Haas says robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery is designed to perform intricately complex procedures without the need for a large, open incision and excessive scarring. While traditional techniques required a 10 to 12-inch incision from the chest bone to the belly button, he says surgeons are now able to improve the precision of their movements and reduce the risk of infection using several half-inch ports and highly-specialized instruments. When performing robotic colon surgery to treat diverticulitis in particular, Dr. Haas says the main benefit is its ability to provide a safe and effective surgical platform, even when the tissue is severely inflamed and swollen.

“In patients with diverticulitis, robotic surgery allows the successful removal of the diseased portion of the colon while providing minimal injury to the healthy portions of the bowel and other organs that lie in close proximity,” says Dr. Haas. “The visual benefits of robotic surgery help to avoid injury to such organs, resulting in less postoperative complications.”

By minimizing the tissue area affected, Dr. Haas says robotic surgery offers him the opportunity to ensure his patients have safest and swiftest recovery possible. He says the actual surgery itself requires him to isolate the diseased colon and remove it, a task he says is greatly aided by the advanced robotic technology.

As awareness about robotic-assisted laparoscopic techniques continue to grow, Dr. Haas says he encourages his Houston colon surgery patients to make sure they consult with a board-certified, experienced surgeon before undergoing any treatment. He adds that while advanced technology can provide more people safe and effective relief from their colon woes, proper research and a dedicated practice are still essential tools required for a successful outcome.

“We think of robotic surgery as an enabling technique that has several benefits over open surgery,” he says. “Hence, we offer this type of procedure to those patients who require an advance procedure due to the complexity of the disease. As in most cases, however, the more appropriate type of surgery for each patient is determined in a case-by-case basis, weighing risks and benefits, and after a thorough discussion with patients and family.”

About Eric Haas, MD, FACS, FASCRS

Dr. Eric Haas earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, after which he completed a General Surgery Residency at St. Joseph Medical Center and a Fellowship Training in Colon and Rectal Surgery at The Methodist Hospital and the University of Texas affiliated hospitals. He is board-certified by both the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery, in addition to being a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Haas is currently the Director of Laparoscopic Colon and Rectal Surgery for the Methodist/St. Joseph Hospital and a national preceptor and adviser for minimally invasive laparoscopic colon surgery for the Ethicon-Endo Surgery Institute and Karl Storz Endoscopy America.

The Colorectal Surgical Associates has several locations throughout the Houston, TX area and can be contacted at (713) 790-0600. It can also be contacted online via the websites,,, or

U.S. News & World Report Names Houston Colorectal Surgeon Among Top 1% of Doctors

October 2, 2012

Houston, TX — Dr. Eric Haas, a board certified colorectal surgeon in Houston, has been selected as one of the top one percent of doctors by U.S. News & World Report. Featured in a list of 31,000 physicians in a wide range of medical specialties, Dr. Haas says inclusion among the Top Doctors in the U.S. is a true honor, and one he sees as a reward for his hard work and dedication to providing his patients with the best quality care possible. He says making the U.S. News & World Report Top Doctors list will undoubtedly serve as further motivation for his continued pursuit of the safest techniques and the most advanced technology in rectal and colon surgery.

Each year, U.S. News & World Report compiles a list of the top doctors from every state in a number of fields, varying from cardiology and pediatrics to psychiatry and colorectal surgery. Doctors are selected by a peer-nomination process through the New York City-based research company Castle Connolly, and then reviewed by a physician-led team to determine the final selections. Since no doctor can pay to be included or nominate themselves, Dr. Haas says having his peers think so highly of his commitment to patient care is both inspiring and gratifying. He adds, “It is very humbling to be nominated by my peers and placed among such a select group of physicians and surgeons around the nation.”

Focusing intensively on laparoscopic colon and rectal surgery in Houston, Dr. Haas provides treatment for patients suffering from a wide range of ailments including colon and anal cancer, diverticulitis and inflammatory bowel disease, fecal incontinence, hemorrhoids, and numerous other concerns. He says helping his patients live a healthier, more comfortable life through his clinical research and promotion of best practices has been his primary goal since he began practicing, and he hopes to continue striving for the most effective procedures for his patients.

In regards to what aspects of his patient care played the largest role in his Top Doctor nomination, Dr. Haas says, “I believe that technological advances in minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic surgery, as well as our academic promotion in enhanced recovery following colon surgery has in part played a large role in the selection for the US News & World Report Top Doctors list.”

Looking forward, Dr. Haas says he is excited to be listed among the ranks as a top colon surgeon, and eager to keep serving his community to the best of his ability. He adds that while lists such as the U.S. News & World Report Top Doctors can be a valuable guide, he encourages patients to conduct their own research as well to ensure they find the practice and surgeon that fits their needs best.

About Eric Haas, MD, FACS, FASCRS

A graduate of the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Dr. Eric Haas completed his general surgery residency at St. Joseph Medical Center and his Fellowship training in Colon and Rectal Surgery at the University of Texas Medical School Fellowship Program. He currently serves as the Chief of Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery and Director of Clinical Research and Quality Outcomes at University General Hospital, and he is the Program Director of the Minimally Invasive Colon and Rectal Surgery Fellowship Program at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. Dr. Haas is board-certified by the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery and the American Board of Surgery, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and a member of the teaching faculty for the Baylor College of Medicine. He has published numerous articles on minimally invasive procedures including laparoscopic and robotic colon and rectal surgery and delivers presentations across the country on his advanced techniques.

Dr. Haas’ practice, the Colorectal Surgical Associates, has several locations throughout the Houston area and can be reached at (713) 790-0600. He and his team can also be contacted online via the websites,,, or

To view the press release, visit

Current Surgical Breakthroughs in the Treatment of Colorectal Cancer Minimally Invasive Surgery and Enhanced Recovery

March 1, 2012

March 6, 2012

At the conclusion of the activities, the audience should be able to:

  1. Understand the background of minimally invasive surgery for the management of colorectal cancer
  2. Discuss the current role of surgical breakthroughs for the management of colorectal cancer including reduced-port surgery for colon cancer and innovative local resection techniques for early rectal cancer
  3. Address current reported patient outcomes following minimally invasive surgery for colorectal cancer
  4. Discuss the current status and impact of enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) pathway for colorectal surgery

Houston Colorectal Surgeon Discusses Advanced Robotic Surgery for Cancer Treatment

February 14, 2012
colon, colorectal, rectal, surgeon, surgery, robotic, cancer, treatment, houston, tx

Colorectal Surgeon in Houston Utilizes Robotic Colon Surgery for Cancer Treatment

According to the latest study from the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS), colorectal cancer strikes approximately 140,000 people each year, causing 60,000 deaths. Dr. Eric Haas, a rectal and colon surgeon in Houston, says robotic surgery is helping change the face of cancer treatment and surgical procedures of the colon or rectum. Dr. Haas discusses the benefits of such an advanced procedure as well as the importance of undergoing extensive training as a surgeon before performing a robotic colorectal surgery procedure.

At his Houston rectal surgery practice, Dr. Eric Haas says proper training is one of the most essential factors to look for in a surgeon for patients considering colon or rectal surgery. Dr. Haas, one of only a handful of surgeons in the U.S. trained in robotic-assisted colorectal surgery, has performed over 150 robotic laparoscopic surgeries between 2008 and 2010 and has been educating other surgeons in the performance of such procedures. The most recent statistics from the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS) reports that colorectal cancer kills 60,000 people each year and affects about 140,000 people total. According to the ASCRS study, surgery is required in nearly all cases in order to achieve a complete cure, while between 80 and 90 percent of patients can be restored to normal health if the cancer is detected and treated in early stages.

With advanced robotic surgery, Dr. Haas says surgeons can achieve the highest level of efficiency and precision while improving patient safety and effective results. He says the innovative surgery improves physician control and precision by providing more accurate movements and reducing the physical demand of surgeons during long procedures. When performing rectal surgery, Dr. Haas says surgeons utilizing robotic instruments also have a much clearer view of their instruments and patient anatomy thanks to the enhanced 3D visualization afforded by the optics and 10 fold magnified view. By minimizing incision size and invasiveness, he adds that robotic colorectal surgery can help reduce the risk of infection and pain associated with surgery while also increasing the likelihood of a fast recovery and excellent results. “The robotic surgery platform is the most precise and technologically sound approach to achieve the optimal surgical resection for cancer, especially when involving the rectum and the adjacent pelvic structure.”

However, because of the complexity of robotic laparoscopic surgery, Dr. Haas says patients should be sure to consult a surgeon who has extensive training in both robotic surgery as well as the particular procedure they are looking for, whether it be colon surgery or rectal cancer treatment. He also says seeking a practice that is dedicated to patient comfort and satisfaction through personalized care is another essential attribute. “Robotic surgery is a very challenging procedure and only experienced surgeons well versed in laparoscopic and minimally invasive techniques are able to apply this technique for the care of their patients.”

About Eric M. Haas, MD, FACS, FASCRS

Dr. Eric Haas earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, where he was a member of the Alpha Omega alpha Medical Honor Society. He completed a general surgery internship at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and a portion of his general surgery residency at St. Joseph Hospital. Dr. Haas also received fellowship training in Colon and Rectal Surgery at The Methodist Hospital and The University of Texas affiliated hospitals. He is board-certified by both the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery. Dr. Haas is the Director of Laparoscopic Colon and Rectal Surgery and has received the 2005 Chief Resident Award for most outstanding Academic Faculty at the Methodist/St. Joseph Hospital General Surgery Residency Program. He is a national preceptor, advisor and mentor for laparoscopic colon surgery and travels throughout the world as an invited participant for the promotion of educational research and enhanced clinical outcomes in academic and professional programs.

Dr. Haas and the Colorectal Surgical Associates have three locations at 7900 Fannin Suite 2700 in Houston, TX, 16605 Southwest Freeway Suite 430 in Sugar Land, TX, and 11914 Astoria Blvd. Suite 320 in Houston, TX, all of which can be reached at (713) 790-0600. Dr. Haas can also be contacted online via the website,, or