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Colorectal Surgery
Introduction to Colorectal Cancer

color-surg-1Two of the most prevalent types of cancers in Asia are cancers of colon and rectum. With unknown causes, these conditions remain as threats to many individuals. Studies associating diet and lifestyle to colorectal cancer are weak and inconclusive.

Only about 5% of recorded cases have a genetic predisposition, showing that the condition may run in certain families. As experts continue to find the causes of these conditions, there is no prevention against it. Detecting the cancer early is the only way to arrive at a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Surgery for Colorectal Cancer

In general, the first course of treatment for the condition is colorectal surgery. For a large tumor that compresses surrounding organs, however, doctors recommend chemotherapy or radiotherapy as initial treatments, making surgery easier, as these therapies reduce the size of the tumor.

Laparoscopic or keyhole surgery is the common surgical treatment for this condition. To perform this minimally invasive procedure, surgeons use special instruments to create five to ten- millimeter incisions, where they dissect and excise the tumor safely.

Studies and trials on colorectal surgery and across the globe have established that laparoscopic surgery should be the standard of care for this type of cancer. Smaller incisions mean less pain, fewer narcotic painkillers given to patients, and faster discharge and recovery.

Open Colorectal Surgery

While laparoscopic surgery is the common procedure for colorectal cancer, there may be instances when this procedure may be difficult to perform or put the patient at greater risk. Doctors may suggest an open colorectal surgery when the tumor is very large and compresses vital organs surrounding it. Specialists may also recommend open surgery when there are signs of obstruction and when there is a high risk for excessive bleeding.

Post Operation Care for Colorectal Surgery
Day 5-7
  • Discharged from hospital
  • May experience temporary symptons of loose stools and abdominal bloating
  • Resume normal diet
Day 10
  • Removal of stitches
  • Resume normal activities
For 3-6 months Depending on the patient’s condition, some may require a permanent or temporary stoma, which requires special care and attention.
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Individuals with advanced cancers (Duke’s Stage C or D) are referred to an oncologist, who will plan a chemotherapy treatment that suits the patient. Most patients can tolerate the current chemotherapeutic agents.

Routine post-surgical cancer surveillance includes:
– A fixed schedule of blood test.
– Cancer markers (CEA).

Noted:

Those who did not undergo colonoscopy before a colorectal surgery will be required to take the procedure within six months. Patients who had a complete pre op colonoscopy will have three yearly colonoscopy procedures as surveillance.