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3 Things To Know About Minimally Invasive Colorectal Surgery [2023]

Dr QM Leong
Dr QM Leong

Reducing intraoperative surgery pain is the main goal of minimally invasive surgery. And, with more than 5.25 million in the world suffering from colorectal cancer, the need for minimally invasive colorectal surgery is rising.

Thanks to advances in science and medicine, patients with colorectal cancer no longer have to worry about painful and scarring incisions to have a tumour removed from the colon or rectum.

1. What Is Minimally Invasive Colorectal Surgery?

Minimally invasive or laparoscopic surgery differs from traditional open surgery by involving only a few tiny incisions. Doctors use microsurgical instruments and real-time imaging techniques for better outcomes.

This is a far cry from the larger and longer incisions in the past, which can potentially increase health risks and recovery times for patients.

Colorectal surgeons expand the abdomen using carbon dioxide gas during a minimally invasive surgery or a laparoscopy. Afterwhich, they insert a small hollow tube with a small scope or camera attached to one end.

These laparoscopic techniques allow surgeons to accurately view the abdomen’s interior, rectum, or colon, through an external monitor.

2. When Is Minimally Invasive Colorectal Surgery Performed?

When Is Minimally Invasive Colorectal Surgery Performed

A patient suffering from colorectal symptoms or conditions such as colon cancer or appendicitis is recommended to undergo minimally invasive surgery whenever possible.

This treatment involves using technologically sophisticated equipment, resulting in faster recovery and fewer health risks.

Other benefits of minimally invasive colorectal surgery include:

  • Less pain after the operation
  • Less blood loss
  • Shorter stay in the hospital
  • Decreased risk of contracting an infection
  • Reduced risk of developing hernia (abdominal protrusions) after the surgery.

Several symptoms may suggest that a person is dealing with a colorectal condition:

  • Bleeding in the stool
  • Chronic constipation
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Abdominal distension and bloating
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Change in bowel movement/habits

3. What To Expect After Undergoing Minimally Invasive Colorectal Surgery?

What To Expect After Undergoing Minimally Invasive Colorectal Surgery

Although minimally invasive techniques are less intrusive than traditional open surgery, patients still need ample time to recover.

Here are some considerations after undergoing a minimally invasive procedure:

  • Recovery Time – Minimally invasive colorectal surgery can cut recovery time by 50% compared to traditional surgery. Patients can resume daily activities and return to work usually as soon as 2-6 weeks after the procedure.
  • Hospital Stay – Your surgeon will decide how long you should spend time recovering in the hospital after surgery. In general, laparoscopic surgery reduces hospital stay by one day. 
  • Scarring – As mentioned, minimally invasive surgery aims to reduce or decrease scarring on the patient’s body. Small incisions are usually 0.5 to 1.0 cm long.
  • Discomfort and Pain – As minimally invasive surgery requires smaller incisions, it naturally causes less pain to the patient. There is less trauma on unrelated tissues and muscles in the patient’s body. Their surgeon recommends a personalised pain management treatment plan to deal with potential discomfort.

Conclusion About Minimally Invasive Colorectal Surgery

Minimally invasive colorectal surgery is a modern technique aiming to reduce scarring in patients who require surgical treatment for colorectal and abdominal cancers.

While open surgery is still practised, minimally invasive techniques are becoming more frequent, especially for patients with second thoughts about open surgery.

This is because minimally invasive procedures lead to only small incisions on the skin. Recovery times are faster, and patients can resume normal activities after a few weeks.

For more information on minimally invasive colorectal surgery, contact Dr QM Leong. He is a colorectal surgeon in Singapore specialising in:

He and his team of surgeons use only the latest techniques in minimally invasive surgery, ensuring fast recovery and minimal-to-no complications. Treatments are tailored to each patient’s medical requirements and lifestyle needs.

Frequently Asked Questions About
Minimally Invasive Colorectal Surgery

Yes. Laparoscopy is surgery done by one or more small incisions. Tiny cameras and surgical instruments are used to perform this minimally invasive surgery.

You may need to undergo keyhole or laparoscopic surgery for your doctor to diagnose various conditions in your abdomen or pelvis. Keyhole surgery may also be necessary to remove a diseased portion of an organ or get a tissue sample for a biopsy.

After colon surgery, the pain will often come and go post-op for the next few days. You may experience discomfort like bowel cramps or pain in the incision site.

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