A technique known as minimally invasive laparoscopic colon surgery allows surgeons to perform many common colon procedures through small incisions. Depending on the type of procedure, patients may leave the hospital in a few days and return to normal activities more quickly than patients recovering from open surgery.
In most laparoscopic colon resections, surgeons operate through 4 or 5 small openings (each about a quarter inch) while watching an enlarged image of the patient’s internal organs on a television monitor. In some cases, one of the small openings may be lengthened to 2 or 3 inches to complete the procedure.
In laparoscopic colon resection surgery, the patient is given general anesthesia. 3-6 small incisions are made in the abdomen. One is used for the laparoscope which is attached to a camera that sends images to a video monitor. The other incisions are used to insert instruments to hold or manipulate tissue in the abdomen. Carbon dioxide gas is inflated into the abdominal cavity to allow room to work and allow the surgeon to see. The diseased portion of the colon is identified and carefully dissected and removed. In some instances, one of the incisions may be lengthened. At the end of the surgery, carbon dioxide gas is removed.