Transanal endoscopic microsurgery, or TEM, may be an option for certain patients who are diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Developed as a minimally invasive alternative to more extensive forms of abdominal surgery, TEM can be used to remove pre-cancerous polyps and small, early-stage cancers located in the lower section of the digestive tract. Sometimes, minimally invasive microsurgery can also be used for patients who are not good candidates for more extensive, traditional procedures, but who are experiencing complications caused by large, obstructive rectal tumors.
During TEM, a surgeon inserts a small, flexible tube with a tiny camera and surgical instruments at the end into a patient’s rectum. The camera relays 3-D images of the patient’s digestive tract onto an external screen; using these real-time images as a guide, the surgeon maneuvers the surgical instruments to remove abnormal cells from the rectal wall.
Compared to more invasive forms of colorectal cancer surgery, transanal endoscopic microsurgery offers several advantages, including:
- Smaller incisions
- Shorter hospital stays and recovery times
- A lower risk of complications, including less postoperative pain
In many cases, patients who undergo transanal endoscopic microsurgery do not require a colostomy and are able to use the restroom normally after surgery.
TEM is just one of the many advanced surgical techniques offered at Moffitt Cancer Center, where a team of oncologists helps each patient select the best treatments for his or her unique needs. We understand that the best approach to cancer treatment doesn’t just take into account patient outcomes – it also considers quality of life. That’s why we provide each patient with a completely individualized treatment plan and a comprehensive range of options.
We welcome patients with and without referrals; to schedule a consultation with a surgeon who specializes in transanal endoscopic microsurgery, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online.