Colorectal Cancer Surgery
Colorectal cancer surgery is usually the main form of treatment recommended for a colorectal cancer patient, and a surgeon’s expertise can make all the difference in achieving a positive outcome. Because a surgeon’s skill level increases with each procedure performed, a high-volume cancer center can provide the most effective treatment. Thousands of patients turn to the experienced, fellowship-trained surgeons at Moffitt Cancer Center, where our skilled surgeons perform numerous colorectal cancer surgery procedures each year. In addition to helping us achieve highly successful surgical results, our experience and state-of-the-art technology have made it possible for us to remove tumors that were once considered to be inoperable. In fact, Moffitt has been ranked High Performing in terms of gastroenterology surgery, according to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals for Cancer.
There are several types of surgery that may be recommended to treat colorectal cancer. Moffitt’s surgeons are skilled in many advanced techniques, including laparoscopic colon resections, anal sphincter-preserving surgeries, radiofrequency ablation and cryosurgery. Within our Gastrointestinal Oncology Program, each patient’s case is reviewed by a multispecialty team of experts who carefully analyze the stage and development of the tumor along with other individual factors to determine the optimal course of treatment. If surgical intervention is recommended, a patient’s treatment plan may include:
- Transanal endoscopic microsurgery – This minimally invasive procedure is often recommended for treating rectal polyps and early rectal cancers.
- Partial colectomy – A surgeon removes the part of the colon that is affected by the tumor, then may perform a procedure called anastomosis to rejoin the remaining parts of the colon and restore the patient’s bowel function. Alternatively, if anastomosis is not possible, a surgeon may perform a colostomy to create an opening (stoma) for waste to pass out of the body.
- Ileocolectomy – Also known as a right colectomy, this procedure involves the removal of the right side of the colon, along with the last segment of the small intestine (ileum).
- Proctosigmoidectomy – The cancerous sections of the rectum and sigmoid colon are removed.
- Total abdominal colectomy – The large intestine is removed.
- Total proctocolectomy – The colon, rectum and possibly the anus are removed.
- Abdominoperineal resection – The sigmoid colon, rectum and anus are removed.
- Robotic surgery - This type of surgery involves the use of several small incisions rather than one large incision, which can lead to shorter recovery times.
After a patient’s colorectal cancer surgery is completed, Moffitt’s talented team – which includes surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, interventional radiologists, endoscopic specialists, supportive care specialists and other medical professionals – will continue to meet weekly to monitor the patient’s progress and revise the treatment plan as necessary. At Moffitt, we perform extensive research on an ongoing basis as we continue to develop new and better treatments. For instance, we offer our patients opportunities to participate in exciting clinical trials, allowing them to be among the first to benefit from promising new breakthroughs.