Robotic Surgery Allows for Minimally Invasive Treatment of Colon and Rectal Cancers

Robotic Surgery for Colorectal CancersColon and rectal cancer affects 140,000 Americans each year and is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. For most patients, surgery is recommended at some point in their care as it is the only curative treatment, and tremendous advances in surgical technique have been achieved during the past 20 years. Most notable has been the dramatic increase in minimally invasive surgical techniques, including laparoscopic surgery, robotic surgery, and transanal endoscopic microsurgery. The advantages of minimally invasive surgery for patients include shorter hospital stays, less postoperative pain, more positive cosmetic outcomes, and shorter recovery time at home, allowing earlier return to work and normal activities. Importantly, minimally invasive techniques allow patients to resume their other postoperative treatments (i.e., chemotherapy) sooner, with less disruption in their overall care plan.

The addition of robotic surgery to the minimally invasive armamentarium has been a “game-changer,” since it means that minimally invasive approaches can now be used for even the most difficult colon and rectal cancers. The robotic approach can facilitate visualization in difficult locations such as the deep pelvis, allowing for more precise dissections and less blood loss. This can translate to better patient outcomes in many situations, especially in allowing for “sphincter-preserving surgery”—avoiding the need for permanent “bags” or colostomies.

Emory Johns Creek Hospital (EJCH), with the leadership of Dr. Seth Rosen, has developed a nationally recognized Robotic Colorectal Surgery program, and strives to provide the most up-to-date, multi-disciplinary care for patients with Colon and Rectal Cancer. With advanced approaches to pain management and post-operative protocols that enhance recovery times, patients are discharged home earlier, and have fewer post-operative complications. Multi-institutional studies confirm that patients who have access to a board certified colorectal surgeon with a high volume of robotic surgery experience fewer short-term complications and improved long-term cancer survival. At EJCH, patients with Colon and Rectal Cancer are managed by a team of experts including medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, nutritionists, specialty nurses, physical therapists, and pharmacists.

Dr. Seth Rosen’s experience and data has resulted in him being recognized as a “center of excellence” in robotic colon and rectal surgery. He has presented data at numerous meetings, and instructed surgeons from all over the United States in techniques of robotic colorectal surgery.


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