Types of Minimally-Invasive Abdominal & Colorectal Procedures | MedStar Health

Minimally invasive abdominal and colorectal procedures are new techniques that use small incisions. They result in decreased bleeding, reduced hospital stays, and shortened recovery time for patients. Not all patients are candidates for minimally invasive surgery and may require open surgery.

Minimally invasive surgeries performed by our board-certified colon and rectal surgeons include a variety of options.

Laparoscopic colectomy

During this procedure, your surgeon will make small incisions and insert small ports through which a light, camera, and instruments on long shafts can be introduced. With these instruments, the colon segment is resected. One incision is slightly larger, to permit extraction of the colon from the abdomen. Then the open ends of the colon are put together, called an anastomosis. The use of smaller incisions reduces post-operative pain and recovery time. This is a change from the traditional version of this surgery, which uses one large incision.

Laparoscopic repair of rectal prolapse

This procedure is used to treat rectal prolapse. The rectum is freed, pulled up into the pelvis, and fixed to the sacral bone. Using a minimally invasive technique, patients find recovery times are faster and post-operative pain is reduced.

Transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM) and transanal minimally invasive surgery (TAMIS)

TEM and TAMIS are performed through the rectum with specially designed surgical instruments. These procedures use a long operating scope with a microscope that is introduced through the anus. These long instruments are used to excise the lesions high inside the rectum that would otherwise be accessible only by major abdominal surgery. TEM and TAMIS offer an alternative to radical abdominal surgery. TEM and TAMIS procedures are generally painless, performed as outpatient procedures or with overnight observation, and have shorter recovery times.

Robotic-assisted surgery

This procedure is used for patients that need to have surgery to remove part of the colon. The robotic-assisted colorectal surgery technique is minimally invasive and allows the surgeon to perform with enhanced dexterity, precision, vision, and control. This surgery is performed through making tiny incisions in the skin, which reduces post-operative pain, recovery time, and hospital stays. This is a change from the traditional version of this surgery, which uses one large incision.

What to expect with minimally invasive surgery

  1. Your doctor will give you bowel preparations for the night before your surgery. These typically include avoiding solid food for a day, taking a laxative, and not eating or drinking after midnight.

  2. Most minimally invasive surgeries last several hours.

  3. You should expect a hospital stay of three to five days.

  4. The recovery period is different for each person, but most patients return to their daily routines within three to six weeks.

  5. A pain management regimen will be prescribed.

  6. If your surgery includes an ostomy, you will be taught how to care for it. Home care will be arranged as allowed by your insurance.

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