Many abnormal growths, called polyps, can be removed during a colonoscopy. But when the polyp is too large or unfavorably placed, patients are faced with a surgical procedure to remove a section of the colon. While this procedure can be performed using a minimally invasive approach, the surgery is complex and usually requires a two to three day stay in the hospital and a two to three week recovery at home.
Now there’s a new option. Emily Rivet, MD, a fellowship-trained colorectal surgeons with Tidewater Surgical Specialists, was one of two in Hampton Roads to perform a new procedure. It is called a combined laparoscopic endoscopic polypectomy and removes larger polyps without removing a section of the colon.
The combined procedure, which has been performed at Bon Secours Maryview, requires two surgeons. While one surgeon removes the polyp with a colonoscope, the second surgeon watches the outside of the colon using a tiny laparoscope camera to ensure the colon isn’t damaged.
“The new procedure is like a colonoscopy, it just happens in the operating room,” said Dr. Rivet. We use a laparoscope to ensure there’s no damage. If there is, we’re prepared to repair colon immediately.” According to experts at the Bon Secours Colorectal Center, most patients return to normal activities the day after the procedure.
Removing a section of the colon and reconnecting it carries many operative risks, but this procedure reduces those risks, that is a significant benefit to patients.