What is a laparoscopic colectomy?
A laparoscopic colectomy is a procedure aimed at patients suffering from ulcerative colitis or Crohns disease whose conditions cannot be managed by medical treatments such as steroids.
How does a laparoscopic colectomy work?
As opposed to a traditional open surgery, a laparoscopic colectomy allows surgeons to look at the internal organs on a monitor thanks to a laparoscope which lights up and magnifies the structures inside the abdomen. The surgeon will make 4 small cuts in the abdomen, introduce instruments through these ports and remove the large intestine (colon) through a small cut in the abdomen. This minimally invasive surgery will also involve making a stoma/side passage. The time in hospital is seven days and recovery is between 4 and 8 weeks.
Laparoscopic colectomy vs. open colectomy:
The advantages of a laparoscopic colectomy as opposed to open colectomy are:
- Smaller cuts
- Reduced blood loss
- Quicker recovery
- Small or unnoticeable scar after 8 weeks
- Faster return to normal diet and normal activities
- Subsequent surgery in the abdomen is easier because there is less scar tissue/adhesions