Minimally Invasive Surgery

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Laparoscopic Surgery

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This animated video explains laparoscopic minimally invasive colorectal surgery:

MINIMALLY INVASIVE Laparoscopic colorectal sURGERY

During minimally invasive laparoscopic colon surgery all of the major steps previously done through a large open wound are now performed through tiny dime-sized incisions without opening the abdomen to the air. We use high definition cameras and specialized instruments to safely complete the surgery. Because surgical scar is minimal and trauma is greatly reduced, patients have much less pain and a far quicker and safer recovery.

Dr. Haas has been performing laparoscopic colorectal surgery for over 15 years and was one of the pioneers in minimally invasive colorectal surgery.

We perform 95% of our procedures using laparoscopic and minimally invasive surgery which places us among the most experienced and highest volume surgeons in the country.  There are many proven benefits of minimally invasive surgery compared to traditional open surgery:

Significant Benefits
Minimally Invasive vs Open Surgery

  • Compare
  • Scarring
  • Pain Level
  • Hospital Stay
  • Return to Work
  • Infection Rate
  • Complications
  • Open Surgery

  •   10 to 16 inches

  •   Severe

  •   7 to 10 days

  •   6 to 12 weeks

  •   4%

  •   40%

  • Laparoscopic

  •   1 to 2 inches

  •   Minimal

  •   2 to 3 days

  •   2 to 3 weeks

  •   2%

  •   10%

Open Surgery

Open Surgery is performed with a large surgical scar from 10 to 16 inches long across the belly. The result is long painful recovery and higher complication rates.   

Minimally Invasive Surgery

Minimally Invasive Laparoscopic colon surgery is performed with a tiny scar of just 1 to 2 inches.  There is significantly less pain and recovery time is much quicker. 


LESS PAIN. Since the surgical scan is much smaller, there is much less trauma to the tissues and therefore much less pain.  Our patients recover without taking large amounts of opioid pain killers and recover much quicker than open surgery.

REDUCED INFECTION RATE. Since the size of the incision is so much smaller and the tissues are handled in a much more delicate fashion when compared to large open surgeries, the infection rates have been proven to be far lower.

SAFER SURGERY. Video magnification during laparoscopic and robotic surgery offers us enhanced visualization and exposure of the diseased colon and its surrounding vessels and nerves. As a result, delicate maneuvers can be performed which results in better outcomes and lower complications versus open surgery. 

Blood Transfusions:  Minimally invasive surgery has allowed us to complete the surgery with far less bleeding.  The need for blood transfusions is significant lower following our procedures when compared to open surgery.  

SMALLER SCAR. A 2 inch incision leaves a considerably smaller scar and improved cosmetic results than the 12 to 16 inch incision used during open surgery. It has been shown that because the scar is so much smaller, the rate of hernias following laparoscopic surrey is far lower as well. 

QUICKER RECOVERY. Patients are started on a diet the same night of surgery, take much less pain medications and are encouraged to get out of bed and walk right away.  Following open surgery, most patients sit in bed for days taking high doses of pain killers which can result in nausea, vomiting and delayed ability to eat and recover.  

SHORTER HOSPITAL STAY.  Following laparoscopic and robotic surgery, our patient are placed on an enhanced recovery pathway which allows speedy and safe recovery.  Most of our patients are ready to leave the hospital in just 2 or 3 days compared to a stay of over one week following open surgery.

QUICKER RETURN TO YOUR NORMAL LIFE. The recovery once you leave the hospital is also much faster. Most patients are able to return to work or travel within 2 to 3 weeks versus 2 to 3 months after open procedures.

What to ask your surgeon about surgery

Yes.  We offer laparoscopic surgery to over 95% of our patients.  Even if you have had prior open surgery, we are almost always able to complete your surgery safely.  Many patients come to see us from all over the world and have been told that they are not candidates for laparoscopic or robotic surgery.  Since we are one of the most experienced groups in this field, we have the expertise to offer you minimally invasive surgery with a safe and speedy recovery regardless of how complex your condition may be.

It is very important to ask your surgeon how often they perform minimally invasive surgery. The average surgeon performs less than 2 cases per month and may not have the experience you are looking for.  We perform 2 cases per day which places us among the very best and most experienced minimally invasive surgeons in the world.  We have cared for hundreds of patients who found us after they had been told that they cannot have laparoscopic surgery because they are too complex or risky.  There is rarely a reason why we cannot offer you or a loved one minimally invasive surgery.

Any surgery has associated risks.  During our consultation we will discuss the possible risks with you depending on the type of surgery you are having and your medical history. Overall, it has been shown that offering our patients minimally invasive surgery significantly lowers the risk of complications compared to open surgery including lower risk of blood loss and lower surgical infection rates.

This depends on the expertise of your surgeon.  Nationwide, the conversion rate has been reported as high as 20% (that is, the surgeon begins the procedure laparoscopically, but then has to convert to an open incision across the belly in 1 in 5 patients). The good news is that our expert surgeons have a conversion rate of 1% (that is, only 1 patient out of every 100 requires conversion to an open procedure).

Many of our patients who come to us for surgery are very concerned that they will need a colostomy or ileostomy bag (also known as an ostomy or stoma).  The good news is that It is very rare that we would need to give someone a permanent colostomy bag. In fact, we are well known for putting colostomies back together in patients who have undergone surgery at other centers or hospitals following emergency procedures.  Patients come to us from all over the country as well as internationally for our reputation of having the expertise to reverse colostomies.