Colorectal cancer surgery
Colorectal cancer Microchapters
Colorectal cancer surgery On the Web
American Roentgen Ray Society Images of Colorectal cancer surgery
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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D.  Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Elliot B. Tapper, M.D., Saarah T. Alkhairy, M.D.
Surgery remains the primary treatment while chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy may be recommended depending on the individual patient's staging and other medical factors.
Colorectal Cancer Surgery
Surgeries can be categorized into curative, palliative, bypass, open-and-close, or laparoscopic surgical treatment.
Curative Surgical Treatment
- This surgical treatment can be offered if the tumor is localized.
- Very early cancer that develops within a polyp can often be cured by removing the polyp (i.e., polypectomy) at the time of colonoscopy.
- In colon cancer, a more advanced tumor typically requires surgical removal of the section of colon (i.e., colectomy) containing the tumor with sufficient margins, and radical en-bloc resection of mesentery and lymph nodes to reduce local recurrence.
- Curative surgery on rectal cancer includes total mesorectal excision (lower anterior resection) or abdominoperineal excision.
Palliative Surgical Treatment
- In case of multiple metastases, a palliative resection of the primary tumor is still offered to reduce further morbidity.
- Surgical removal of isolated liver metastases is common and may be curative
Bypass Surgical Treatment
- If the tumor invaded adjacent vital structures which makes excision technically difficult, surgeons may prefer to bypass the tumor (ileotransverse bypass) or to do a proximal fecal diversion through a stoma.
Open-and-close Surgical Treatment
- If the surgeons find the tumor unresectable and the small bowel is involved, any more procedures would do more harm than good to the patient
- This is uncommon with laparoscopy and better radiological imaging.
- Most of these cases formerly subjected to "open and close" procedures are now diagnosed in advance and surgery is avoided.
- This is a minimally-invasive technique that can reduce the size of the incision, minimize the risk of infection, and reduce post-operative pain.
Complications with Colorectal Surgery
- Wound infection
- Anastomosis breakdown, leading to abscess or fistula formation and/or peritonitis
- Bleeding with or without hematoma formation
- Adhesions leading to bowel obstruction
- Blind loop syndrome in bypass surgery
- Adjacent organ injury - most commonly to the small intestine, ureters, spleen, or bladder
- Cardiorespiratory complications such as myocardial infarction, pneumonia, arrythmia, or pulmonary embolism
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