Sentara CarePlex Hospital Colorectal Services
Laparoscopic surgery to treat serious colon disorders is a major focus area for the hospital. Sentara surgeons offer many specialized procedures that help patients recover as quickly and painlessly as possible. With traditional open surgery, the surgeon makes an incision up to 12 inches long. In comparison with laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon makes a series of small incisions about 1/4 - 3 inches long in the abdomen. With laparoscopic surgery, the benefits include less pain and scarring, quicker recovery time and shorter hospital stay. Recent hospital data shows the average length of stay after a colorectal laparoscopic surgery is just three days, compared to six days after open surgery.
Transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM) is a minimally-invasive technique to remove certain tumors from the anus without an abdominal incision. Sentara CarePlex Hospital recently became the first facility in the Tidewater area to perform TEM.
Other advanced colorectal procedures performed at the hospital include sphincter preservation and reconstruction, colonic J pouch reconstruction, colectomy, rectal prolapse repair and correction of pelvic floor disorders. Doctors also offer the latest treatments for hemorrhoids, anal fissures and fistula. Often, the much-feared ostomy bag is no longer necessary because surgeons can restore full function to the colon and other organs. That allows patients to avoid complications and enjoy a freedom of lifestyle not possible just a few years ago.
Advances in treatment and surgical technique have resulted in a dramatic reduction in negative side effects for many patients who have complex colorectal surgery.
Pain management is another focus area for the program. All patients who have colorectal surgery use the ON-Q® Pain Pump, equipment that delivers a local anesthetic directly to surgical incision sites to control pain. Studies have found the pump significantly reduces the need for narcotic painkillers which can cause side effects such as nausea, breathing problems, constipation and drowsiness and can reduce hospital stays by about a full day.