Minimally Invasive Colorectal Surgery

Conventional surgery involving the colon and rectum requires large incisions, which often result in long recovery periods. At Central Maine Medical Center expert surgeons use evolving technology that allows them to perform a wide range of colorectal procedures through incisions that are less than an inch in length.

After small incisions have been made, the surgeon inserts thin tubes (called trocars) into the body cavity. Carbon dioxide gas is then released through the tubes to slowly inflate the abdomen. A thin telescope is placed through one of the trocars, allowing the surgical team to view the inside of the abdomen on a monitor. Specialized instruments are placed through the other trocars and used to perform the operation.

Colorectal conditions that can be treated with minimally invasive techniques include:

  • Benign and malignant colon and rectal polyps, tumors and cancers
  • Diverticular disease, specifically diverticulitis
  • Appendicitis
  • Severe constipation, which does not respond to medicine
  • Rectal prolapse (occurring when rectal tissue relaxes or is no longer supported by the surrounding muscle)
  • Colon volvulus (twisting or displacement of the intestines causing obstruction)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (Chrohns or ulcerative colitis)

These minimally invasive procedures benefit patients in a variety of ways. When compared to conventional procedures, laparoscopic surgery patients generally feel less pain, lose less blood, experience minimal scarring, a shorter hospital stay, and return to day-to-day activities faster.

Minimally invasive colorectal surgery procedures offered at Central Maine Medical Center:

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease -CMMC surgeons conduct minimally invasive procedures to treat Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and related inflammatory bowel disease problems.

  • Colorectal Cancer - Surgeons at CMMC use laparoscopic techniques to remove cancerous tumors and malignancies from the colon and rectum.

  • Small Bowel Resection - This procedure involves the removal of part of the small intestine.

  • Segmental Colectomy/Left or Right Colectomy - This procedure involves the removal of a portion of the colon.

  • Total Abdominal Colectomy - This procedure involves the removal of the entire colon.

  • Total Proctocolectomy - This procedure involves the removal of the colon, rectum, and anus.

  • Stoma Creation for Fecal Diversion - Surgeons create an opening in the abdomen to allow for the passage of stool.

  • Restorative Proctocolectomy with Ileoanal Pouch Anastomosis - If a patients colon and rectum are removed, surgeons form the small intestine into a pouch and connect it to the anus. The pouch collects waste, which exits through the anus. Muscle function stays intact so bowel movements can be controlled.