Colorectal Cancer Surgery

For some types of cancer, the most effective treatment is surgically removing the tumor. At Sentara, your care team may recommended minimally invasive colon surgery, including Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgery (TEMS) that allows surgeons to remove select rectal tumors that would traditionally require more involved and invasive surgery. Another treatment you may receive is the Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) Treatment, which attacks abdominal cancers that may remain even after surgery.

Minimally invasive colon surgery

Early colon cancer may be removed with the aid of a thin, lighted tube. Three or four tiny cuts are made into your abdomen. The surgeon sees inside your abdomen with the laparoscope. The tumor and part of the healthy colon are removed. Nearby lymph nodes also may be removed. The surgeon checks the rest of your intestine and liver to see if the cancer has spread.

Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgery (TEMS)

A new, minimally invasive surgical procedure to remove select rectal tumors that would traditionally require more involved and invasive surgery.

When a section of your colon or rectum is removed, the surgeon can usually reconnect the healthy parts. However, sometimes reconnection is not possible. In this case, the surgeon creates a new path for waste to leave your body. The surgeon makes an opening (stoma) in the wall of the abdomen, connects the upper end of the intestine to the stoma, and closes the other end. The operation to create the stoma is called a colostomy. A flat bag fits over the stoma to collect waste, and a special adhesive holds it in place.

For most people, the stoma is temporary. It is needed only until the colon or rectum heals from surgery. After healing takes place, the surgeon reconnects the parts of the intestine and closes the stoma. Some people, especially those with a tumor in the lower rectum, need a permanent stoma.

Open surgery

The surgeon makes an incision into your abdomen to remove the tumor. This is sometimes required based on the size or location of the tumor.

Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC)

Treatment attacks abdominal cancers that remain after surgery. Patients can receive it as a palliative measure to help control disease and prevent fluid collection. HIPEC can also be used preventatively.