There are three categories here Minimally Invasive Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery, Robotic–Assisted LAPAROSCOPIC Surgery, and Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery (SILS) but it just looks like the information all runs together. Is there any way to make these three categories more distinguishable as separate? Also it looks like the header advantages of minimally invasive surgery is the same size as the category it’s in so it makes it confusing.

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:

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 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.

Advantages to Minimally Invasive Surgery

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.

Robotic–Assisted Laparoscopic Surgery

Robotic-assisted surgery is another breakthrough in minimally invasive surgery for colon and rectal diseases. Until recently, patients have had the option of traditional or laparoscopic surgery. Now with the advances made possible by Robotic-assisted surgery, patients have all the advantages of minimally invasive surgery with the addition of modern technology.

What is a Surgical Robotic System?

The surgical robotic system has one camera arm and three surgical arms that connect to the patient through tiny incisions. The surgeon operates the robotic arms. With the specialized robotic instruments and high-definition magnified camera, the surgeon is able to do incredibly delicate and complicated procedures in a very precise and safe fashion.

What types of colon and rectal problems are treated with this type of surgery?

We perform all surgery with minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery. We typically prefer robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery for more complex procedures that require precise technique such as rectal cancer, diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. During our consultation we will discuss which type of minimally invasive approach is recommended for your specific situation.

How does this benefit the patient?

Patients benefit from a much smaller surgical incision, usually only 1 1/2 centimeters, which leads to less pain and a shorter recovery time. The benefits are the same as laparoscopic surgery and when compared to open traditional surgery, the most common patient benefits include:

  • Significantly less pain during recovery
  • Less blood loss during surgery
  • Less complications during surgery
  • Less scarring after surgery
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • A quicker return to work and daily activities

Why is it being used for colon and rectal problems?

Our surgeons will meet with you to determine if this type of surgery is best for you. Robotic-assisted surgery is particularly beneficial for procedures that require access to areas of the body such as the pelvis. This approach allows us to almost always avoid the need for a permanent colostomy.

Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery (SILS)

Also, known as “scarless surgery”, SILS is the one of more recent breakthroughs in the arena of minimally invasive colon surgery. The SILS technique is very beneficial for qualified candidates. Instead of one large open incision or multiple smaller ones, this technique involves one single, small incision, which is often “hidden” in the navel. A Single Port device is placed though this tiny incision and allows a high definition camera and all of the laparoscopic instruments to be paced in this one incision. All of the steps of the procedure are successfully performed without any other incisions or ports.

The most obvious benefit is the lack of a large and painful scar versus the traditional open colon surgery in which a 12 to 16 inch incision is made across the abdomen. Since the entire colon surgery is performed through a single small scar, patients recover with much less pain and take much less opioid pain killers. Patients also have lower risk of wound infections and hernias when compared to open surgery. The post-operative recovery time is noticeably shorter, making the return to normal life much quicker. Only a few specialists in the world offer this technique to their patients routinely for the treatment of colon diseases. We have performed hundreds of SILS and are one the leading centers of excellence for this procedure.