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How Laparoscopic Surgery Is Beneficial For Colon Cancer?

Written and reviewed by
MCh - Pediatric Surgery, MRCS, MS - General Surgery, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery(FMAS) & Reproductive Medicine, MBBS
General Surgeon, Hyderabad  •  20 years experience
How Laparoscopic Surgery Is Beneficial For Colon Cancer?

Colon cancer is the cancer of the colon or rectum, situated at the lower end of the digestive tract. Bowel cancer or colon cancer is the third most common type of cancer and primarily affects people aged 50 and over. It generally arises as non-cancerous polyps without one's knowledge and symptoms begin to surface slowly. Changes in bowel habits, constipation, diarrhea, blood in the stool or rectal bleeding, abdominal cramps and discomfort are some of the common symptoms of colon cancer. This type of cancer often has no symptoms but can be detected by screening. So doctors recommend screenings for those at high risk or over the age of 50.

Risk factors that make a person more likely to develop colon cancer are

  • Other family members who have suffered from colon cancer
  • Polyps in the colon
  • Ulcerative colitis or in simpler words
  • Chronic inflammatory bowel diseases
  • Excess body weight

Treatment of colorectal cancer depends on the

  • Size
  • Location and how far the cancer has spread.

The most common treatments can be removal of the cancerous polyp through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. A test known as a colonoscopy is performed to detect the disease. Samples of tissues are collected from areas which are suspected to contain cancer cells and this makes it possible to detect the cancer. Smaller colorectal polyps can be removed during the colonoscopy. Chemotherapy or radiation therapy is used to treat cancer only in advanced stages.

Laparoscopy is a procedure which enables the doctor to have a look inside the abdominal cavity with a special camera. To conduct a laparoscopic treatment, incisions are made in the abdomen. Generally, 3-6 incisions are made varying between 5-10mm. These small incisions are used to insert the laparoscope and special laparoscope instruments. The laparoscope guides the surgeon by transmitting a picture of the internal organs on a monitor.

There are several advantages of undergoing a laparoscopic surgery for cancerous colon removal compared to a large open incision. Patients undergoing a laparoscopic approach experience less pain, faster return of intestinal function, a shorter period of rest, and quicker walking ability all of which aids in recovery and leading a normal life faster. Instead of making long incisions that are common in traditional open surgery, laparoscopic surgery requires only small incisions to perform the same operation. Also, treatment of colon cancer has been the most effective using laparoscopic surgeries.

Doctors must be consulted before undergoing any such surgery. Through tests and screenings, they can determine the intensity of the cancer, how far it has spread, where it is located and on the basis of it, the method of treatment needs to be decided. One must strictly follow the doctor’s advice especially diet rules before and after the operation is conducted to ease bowel movements and aid in healing.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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