Robotic Colorectal Surgery- Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedure

Even though the word “colorectal” is made up of two words- colon and rectal, it is an umbrella term in the colorectal branch of medical science which is responsible for conditions associated with all the organs of the lower digestive system like the anus, rectum, colon and small intestine.

What is Colorectal Surgery?

Colorectal surgery also known as proctology is a field of medical science that deals with the problems associated with the rectum, anus or colon.
Colorectal surgery is a major surgery required when one has problems in the lower gut. The proctologists treat the diseased or infected areas of the lower intestinal region. There can be various causes for these diseases including both cancerous and non-cancerous causes.

Robotic Colorectal Surgery

Colorectal surgery can be performed through the traditional open surgery method, the laparoscopic method and even through robotic surgery.

Colorectal surgery is a massive surgery which requires extreme precision. Minimally invasive surgery helps doctors achieve that. Colorectal surgery through the robotic method is more advantageous than the other two methods. The patient’s healing time is more in the open surgery method but the patient heals very fast with robotic surgery. The faster they heal, the faster their digestive system will start functioning normally and they can go back to living their normal lives.

The patient experiences more pain in traditional surgery as the cuts are more and are larger. Since the incisions are minimal in robotic surgery, the pain is also less. As a result, the patient has shorter hospital stays which also helps save money.

Robotic surgery is even beneficial for doctors as they have a better view of the area they are working on. The high-definition camera gives them a clear picture of what is going on inside the patient’s body. Moreover, robotic hands are more methodical and efficient than human hands. This way the surgery can be done more precisely.

What preparations are needed before robotic colorectal surgery?

Just like one prepares the body for operation before open surgery, similarly, your body needs preparation before robotic surgery.

You will have several tests and scans before your surgery. The doctor will direct you further according to your test reports. They may prescribe some medicines that you have to consume as directed.

In addition to this, you need to cleanse your body, i.e., your bowels. Your doctor may give you laxatives to clean your lower intestine. The cleaning of your lower digestive tract is very important before your surgery. The surgeon will get a clear vision when there is no stool or food in your digestive tract. You may even be asked to drink clear liquids and no solids before your surgery.

Other than this, you need personal preparations like packing all the necessary stuff that you will need in the hospital. Wear comfortable and light clothes when you go to the hospital and after the surgery as well. Ask the doctor to tell you beforehand about the medicines that you need from outside. Prepare beforehand, so you can be calm before your surgery.

Under which conditions do surgeons perform colorectal surgery?

Many colorectal conditions need surgery as a treatment. But at times it may vary from case to case. There may be other treatments that are suitable for that person. But generally, colorectal surgery is required in the following cases

  • When the rectal lining emerges outside of the body, also called rectal prolapse
  • Inflammatory bowel problems like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
  • A condition called diverticular disease. In this disease, small infected diverticula form in the weaker section of the colon.
  • Different Cancers and polyposis
  • Ischemia- a condition associated with loss of blood supply
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Anal Fissures
  • Abscesses
  • Chronic constipation
  • Faecal incontinence
  • Rectovaginal fistula
  • Colovesical fistula

What to expect on the day of surgery and after the surgery?

Your doctor will thoroughly guide you about what you have to do on the day of the surgery. He may ask you to remain empty stomach. He may give you some pills before the surgery. You must follow your doctor’s advice.

You will be given an anaesthesia injection during the surgery so that you can handle the pain of the incisions.

If you are going through robotic surgery, the doctor will probably make two to three small cuts on your body. The operation can take a couple of hours. But if you are going through open surgery, there will be one big cut in your lower abdomen.

You will have to stay in the hospital for a day or two under your doctor’s supervision. But in case you went through open surgery, your hospital stay will be longer.

If you think you have any of these issues which need colorectal surgery, talk to your doctor about it. It would be best if you decide your surgery method as per your doctor’s advice. Sometimes we are inclined towards a particular method, but it may not be the best option for our case. Therefore, consult with your doctor and then make the final decision.