Laparoscopic colorectal surgery is a technique which involves operations on the colon and rectum through 4 or 5 small incisions. A laparoscope (a narrow tube having a tiny camera) is inserted through the incision which gives the surgeon, an enlarged image of the internal organs on a television screen.
Colorectal conditions that can be treated using laparoscopy include:
- Diverticular disease (diverticulitis)
- Rectal polyps
- Rectal cancer
- Severe constipation
- Rectal prolapse (relaxed/unsupported rectal tissue)
- Colon volvulus (twisting or displacement of the intestines)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis)
The surgical procedure is performed in a hospital under general anaesthesia. Several small incisions (3 to 5) which are less than 0.5 cm are made in the abdomen. Trocar (narrow tube-like instrument) is placed through these openings. A laparoscope is inserted through one of the trocars, which gives an enlarged view of the internal organs on the television screen. The surgery is performed through the others trocars by inserting special instruments or by enlarging one of the incisions to remove part of the colon.
Preparation for Surgery
Preparation for colorectal surgery involves cleansing the colon or “bowel preparation”. Your surgeon will prescribe an enema and antibiotics following which you should not eat solid food for 8 hours before the surgery. You will be advised to discontinue your regular medications such as blood thinners, warfarin, aspirin or ibuprofen.
You can resume normal activities in one or two weeks following the surgery. You can start walking the next day of your surgery. Loose stools are normal for the first two weeks after surgery. Seek medical help if you come across following conditions:
- Watery stools for more than 3 days.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain in your abdomen
- Pus discharge or redness around your incision
- Fever with chills (temperature of 100.5 or higher)
- Bleeding from the rectum