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Colorectal Surgery

Colorectal Surgery

When you eat, food moves from the mouth to the esophagus to the stomach. There, stomach acid breaks the food down until it passes into the small bowel. When in the bowel, vitamins and minerals are stripped out of the food. These nutrients then begin their journey through the body to provide you with energy and to heal damaged tissue and cells.

The remaining substance passes into the colon (large intestine) and eventually the rectum, where it waits to be released via a bowel movement. When problems arise in the final two stages (colon and rectum), it is often necessary to seek medical attention. Failure to do so can cause worsened problems that impact your quality of life.

In many cases, these conditions can be treated with lifestyle changes. These may involve modifying your diet, performing special exercises and avoiding risky behaviors. When these aren’t enough to provide relief from your symptoms, colorectal surgery may be needed.

Conditions Treated With Colorectal Surgery

Colorectal surgery is used for a variety of issues affecting the colon and rectum, including:

  • Colon and rectal cancers
  • Diverticulitis, inflammation of small pouches in the colon
  • Hemorrhoids, swollen, painful veins in the anus or rectum)
  • Pelvic floor prolapse, which occurs when tissues that support the bladder and uterus weaken and the organs drop, and other pelvic floor problems 
  • Inflammatory bowel disease, conditions that cause inflammation and pain, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis

Types of Colorectal Surgery

When seeking colorectal surgery, MultiCare has you covered. With board-certified, fellowship-trained colorectal surgeons, our team has the experience and expertise needed to evaluate and treat colorectal issues with skill and compassion. 

Here are a few of the procedures MultiCare colorectal surgeons offer to patients suffering colorectal issues. 

  • Bowel (colon) resection — The damaged part of the intestine is removed to lessen symptoms and improve overall health. The remaining healthy sections are joined together.
  • Hemorrhoid surgery — Blood flow may be surgically cut off from the hemorrhoid through the use of staples, chemical injection, laser or rubber band placement. Once blood flow is cut off, the hemorrhoid shrinks and the discomfort passes. In other cases, the hemorrhoid may be removed altogether.
  • Pelvic floor reconstruction — Misplaced organs are returned to their natural position and then surgically reinforced so they remain in place.
  • Total colectomy — This involves removal of the entire colon. It is typically reserved for advanced cases of colon cancer, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Regardless of the procedure, colorectal surgeries can be performed one of two ways: open surgery, in which a single large incision is made to perform the procedure, and minimally invasive robotic-assisted surgery

With robotic-assisted surgery, the procedure is performed through a series of tiny incisions. Through these incisions, a small video camera acts as the surgeon’s eyes. The surgeon then controls robotic arms to accurately perform the procedure with minimal impact on healthy surrounding tissue.

Find a Colorectal Surgeon Near You

Learn more about our colorectal surgeons and how they can help you.