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Traditional vs. Robotic Colectomy

A colectomy is a surgical procedure that is sometimes recommended to address small intestine cancer that has spread to the colon. When performing a colectomy, a surgeon can remove part or all of the colon through one long incision in the abdomen. This technique is known as traditional or open surgery. Alternatively, a colectomy can be performed through a series of tiny incisions in the abdomen. This minimally invasive approach, which is also known as laparoscopy, can also be performed with robotic assistance for enhanced surgical precision and control.

In the Gastrointestinal Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center, our fellowship-trained surgeons often perform colectomy surgery with the assistance of the state-of-the-art da Vinci® Surgical System, which features a three-dimensional, highly magnified optical system. Powered by robotic technology, the da Vinci System correlates a surgeon’s hand movements with highly precision movements of tiny surgical instruments inside a patient’s body. As such, the da Vinci System effectively extends a surgeon’s eyes and hands.

As compared to an open surgical procedure or a traditional laparoscopic procedure, a robotic colectomy offers a number of key benefits, including:

  • A reduced risk of surgical complications
  • Less disruption of tissue surrounding the surgical site
  • A shorter hospital stay
  • Minimal scarring
  • A quicker return of bowel function

In sum, the da Vinci System provides a surgeon with enhanced vision, greater dexterity, refined precision and ergonomic comfort when performing a colectomy, which involves complex and delicate tissue dissection and reconstruction. Therefore, this state-of-the-art robotic technology makes it possible for many patients to have a minimally invasive alternative to a traditional, open colectomy for small intestine cancer treatment.

The surgeons at Moffitt have successfully used the da Vinci System to perform thousands of procedures, helping many of our patients to achieve the best possible outcomes and quality of life. If you have questions about traditional or robotic colectomies for small intestine cancer treatment, the experts in our Gastrointestinal Oncology Program can help. Call Moffitt Cancer Center at 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form online to request an appointment. No referrals are necessary.