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Abdominal Surgery

Colectomy, Small Bowel Resection & Splenectomy

Internal organs that lie within the abdomen include the colon, the small intestine and the spleen, among many others.

The colon is also called the large intestine and is split into four sections: the ascending colon, the transverse colon, the descending colon and the sigmoid colon, which ends at the rectum. The colon removes water, salt and some nutrients.

The small bowel is a long, continuous tube running from the stomach to the secum where it meets the large intestine. Its job is to absorb most of the nutrients from what we eat and drink. The small intestine is divided into three parts: the duodenum, jejunum and ileum.

The spleen plays multiple supporting roles in the body: it acts as a filter for blood as part of the immune system, old red blood cells are recycled in the spleen, and platelets and white blood cells are stored there. The spleen also helps fight certain kinds of bacteria that cause pneumonia and meningitis.

Colectomy

Conditions of the colon that may cause the need for sections of the colon to be removed (colectomy) include colon cancer, diverticular disease, inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease) and rectal cancer.

Colectomies are traditionally performed with a single, large abdominal incision allowing surgeons to put their hands inside the patient's abdomen to perform the operation. Robotic-assisted surgery for the colon is a type of minimally invasive surgery that uses a computer-assisted technology to aid in surgical procedures, enhancing the patient's experience and the surgeon's dexterity. Rather than operating on patients through large incisions, surgeons at MultiCare Deaconess Hospital use miniaturized surgical instruments that fit through a series of small incisions to reduce scarring and recovery time. Robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery is being used to perform colectomies in challenging areas, including the lower pelvis, and represents an improvement over traditional laparoscopic and open surgery.

Small Bowel Resection

Disorders that may require the small bowel to be removed include cancer (although small intestine cancer is rare) and other physical obstructions. Small bowel resections are traditionally performed with a single, large abdominal incision, allowing surgeons to put their hands inside the patient's abdomen to perform the operation. Robotic-assisted surgery for the small bowel is a type of minimally invasive surgery performed by surgeons at Deaconess Hospital that uses a computer-assisted technology to aid in surgical procedures, allowing for smaller incisions, which usually results in less post-operative pain. Rather than operating on patients through large incisions, surgeons use specialized surgical instruments that fit through a series of small incisions to reduce scarring and recovery time.

Splenectomy

Several circumstances may require the spleen to be removed including splenomegaly, sickle cell disease and thrombocytopenia. Robotic-assisted surgery for the spleen is a type of minimally invasive surgery performed by surgeons at Deaconess Hospital that uses a computer-assisted technology to aid in surgical procedures, enhancing the surgeon's dexterity, allowing for smaller incisions that usually results in less post-operative pain and improving the patient's experience.

Potential benefits of robotic-assisted surgery include:

  • Significantly less pain
  • Less blood loss
  • Fewer complications
  • Less scarring
  • A shorter hospital stay
  • A faster return to normal daily activities

Robotic-assisted surgery may not be appropriate for every individual. Always ask your doctor about all treatment options, as well as their risks and benefits.