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What is a laparoscopic-assisted colectomy?

Laparoscopic-assisted colectomy is a newer approach to removing part of the colon and nearby lymph nodes, and may be an option for some earlier stage cancers. Instead of making one long incision in the abdomen, the surgeon makes several smaller incisions. Special long instruments are inserted through these incisions to remove part of the colon and lymph nodes. One of the instruments has a small video camera on the end, which allows the surgeon to see inside the abdomen. Once the diseased part of the colon has been freed, one of the incisions is made larger to allow for its removal.

This type of operation requires the same type of preparation before surgery and the same type of anesthesia during surgery as an open colectomy (see above). Because the incisions are smaller than with an open colectomy, patients may recover slightly faster and have less pain than they do after standard colon surgery. Laparoscopic-assisted surgery is as likely to be curative as the open approach for colon cancers. But the surgery requires special expertise. If you are considering this approach, be sure to look for a skilled surgeon who has done many of these operations.

Laparoscopic-assisted colectomy removes all or part of the colon. The surgeon uses a laparoscope for this type of surgery, which makes for smaller incisions.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.