Colorectal Surgery

Your Health. Your Hospital

We understand your concerns and aim to provide true multidisciplinary care, bringing together a team of specialists who meet regularly to discuss each of our patient’s case. Being highly trained in all aspects of colorectal surgery, this helps us give our patients the widest range of treatment options, so they can return to their normal life in no time.

Sensitive, Caring Staff

Our department’s staff will ensure your comfort at the same time as they deliver excellent care

Some of the most common medical conditions, like hemorrhoids, are very underreported. Good news: seek treatment and good outcomes are likely! We strive to make the entire patient experience as positive as possible. We want your visit to be as relaxed as possible, and we take care to make it so.

Colorectal care, also known as proctology, deals with disorders of the rectum, anus, and colon. The latter term is now used infrequently within medicine, and is most often employed to identify practices relating to the anus and rectum in particular.

The large bowel consists of the colon (5 feet long) and the rectum (8 inches long). The colon's main function is to process the 3 pints of liquid stool it receives each day into a manageable amount of solid stool, ready for evacuation. The rectum coordinates the process of evacuation. Normally, a person can pass up to 150 grams of solid stool daily, but this can vary from 3 times daily to 3 times per week.

Many Americans have difficulty moving their bowels. Some causes that contribute to bowel issues include diet and activity level. You need to refer to the proctologist anytime you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • bloating
  • bowel obstruction
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty in bowel movement (constipation)
  • pain during bowel movements
  • mucus and pus from the anus
  • pain in the anus
  • rectal bleeding

The symptoms of many diseases involving the rectum and the colon are similar, so it is very important to seek medical attention as soon as you notice something is wrong. Some of the conditions treated by our surgeons at Marina Del Rey Hospital include the following:

  • anal abscess, anal fistula, and anal fissure
  • bowel incontinence
  • colorectal cancer (colon cancer, rectal cancer, anal cancer)
  • colorectal polyps
  • diverticular disease (diverticulitis)
  • hemorrhoids
  • inflammatory bowel disease (IBD; Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis)
  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • pelvic floor dysfunction
  • rectal prolapse (rectocele, proctocele)

Diagnostic procedures, such as a colonoscopy, are very important in colorectal surgery, as they can tell the physician what type of diagnosis should be given and what procedure should be done to correct the condition. Colorectal surgeons perform a number of screening and diagnostic tests, including:

  • colonoscopy
  • defecating proctography
  • flexible sigmoidoscopy
  • proctoscopy
  • sigmoidoscopy
  • ultrasound
  • virtual colonoscopy

A sigmoidoscopy is similar to, but not the same as, a colonoscopy. During this procedure, the surgeon only examines up to the sigmoid, the most distal part of the colon, while during colonoscopy, the whole large bowel is examined. Detection methods for colorectal cancer include a digital rectal exam (an exam of the rectum by a physician with his or her finger) and a chemical test of the stool for blood. Other tests may include a physical examination, a review of symptoms and family history and, in addition, testing may include barium x-rays of the upper and lower intestinal tract.

This table shows the most common treatment methods used for a few disorders that we normally encounter in our patients.

Disorder Type

Disorder

Treatment Methods

Functional Disorders

Constipation

- Eating more fiber and improving stool consistency;

- Laxatives or enemas

Irritable Bowel

- Avoiding foods that make the problems worse;

- Tailoring diet alteration to the particular symptoms;

- Managing stress;

- Medications

Structural disorders

Internal Hemorrhoids

- Improving bowel habits;

- Using elastic bands to pull the internal hemorrhoids back into the rectum;

- Surgical removal of hemorrhoids;

- “Stapled” hemorrhoidectomy

External Hemorrhoids

- Removal of blood clot (if present)

Anal Fissure

- Ointment or medication to relieve the pain;

- In certain cases, surgery may be recommended if the tear does not heal due to excessive sphincter spasm

Perianal Abscess

- Draining the abscess

Fistula-In-Ano

- Surgery

Other Perianal Infections

- Surgery and medications

Colon and rectal disorders

Diverticular Disease

- Surgery is needed in about half the patients who have complications of their diverticula

Polyps and Cancer

- Surgical removal of polyps;

- Chemotherapy;

- Radiation treatment in some cases

Colitis

- Rehydration;

- Minimizing risk factors;

- Medication

Medical treatment with anti-inflammatory or immunosuppressive medication to control symptoms is the preferred initial form of therapy when dealing with some disorders. However, surgery often provides long-term relief from symptoms and limits or eliminates the need for medication. The symptoms of IBS closely resemble those of other, sometimes life-threatening diseases, such as colon cancer, Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, so it is imperative to seek medical attention so that these disorders may be ruled out.

Surgical treatment options include:

  • abdominoperineal resection (APR)
  • laparoscopic-assisted colectomy
  • local transanal resection (full thickness resection)
  • low anterior resection
  • open colectomy
  • pelvic exenteration
  • polypectomy and local excision
  • proctectomy with colo-anal anastomosis
  • rectal surgery
  • transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM)

If you have been diagnosed with a colorectal condition and surgery is imminent, ask your surgeon about the da Vinci surgery. As a result of da Vinci technology, da Vinci surgery for colorectal conditions offers the following benefits:

  • low rate of complications
  • precise removal of cancerous tissue
  • low blood loss
  • low conversion rate to open surgery
  • quick return of bowel function
  • better cosmetic result compared to open surgery
  • quick return to a normal diet
  • short hospital stay

We Play an Active Role in Our Community

Through general lectures and events for patients and residents, seminars for therapists, and meetings with doctors and staff. Register for a seminar or join us for a special event at Marina Del Rey Hospital.

Frequently Asked Questions

You will be able to return to a normal diet, but it’s important to follow your doctor’s indications and start eating gradually.

See Full Answer

It is normal to experience some bowel movement changes after the surgery such as frequent stools or urgency to use the toilet.

See Full Answer

The resection of the colon may be recommended in cases of a benign growth in order to prevent its progression to cancer, and when it has associated problems such as bleeding or obstruction.

See Full Answer

Not all patients are advised laparoscopic colectomy as the choice of the procedure depends on the general state of health, on the nature of the disease affecting the patient, previous surgical history causing scar tissue, and conditions such as pregnancy and bleeding disorders.

See Full Answer

The laparoscopic surgery for colon cancer is advantageous as it ensures reduced post-surgical pain due to the small incision and reduced exposure of the visceral organs as compared to the open surgical technique.

See Full Answer