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Great Surgical Care at Marina del Rey Hospital

Why Choose Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital for Colectomy?

The well trained surgical staff at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital will make sure to provide you with the best possible outcome for this surgery. Our doctors benefit of robotic assistance during the colectomy enhancing their precision and with it the safety of this procedure.

While your stay at our health center you will experience the great care provided by our medical personnel in order for you to complete your recovery and get back to the life and activities you love.

The surgical removal of all or part of your colon is called a colectomy and is performed in order to treat or prevent diseases and conditions that may affect your colon. There are 4 main types of colectomy surgeries:

  • Total Colectomy – involves removing the entire colon
  • Partial Colectomy involves removing part of the colon and may also be called subtotal colectomy
  • Hemicolectomy– involves removing the right or left portion of the colon
  • Proctocolectomy involves removing both the colon and rectum

Colectomy surgery usually requires other procedures to reattach the remaining portions of your digestive system and to allow waste to leave your body.

Like any other surgery, colectomy carries a risk of serious complications, which are based on your general health, the type of colectomy you undergo and the approach your surgeon uses to perform the surgery. In general, complications of colectomy can include:

  • abscess
  • anastomotic leak (intestinal fluid leak)
  • bleeding
  • blood clots in the legs (deep vein thrombosis)
  • ileus (bowel blockage)
  • infection
  • injury to organs near your colon, such as the bladder and small intestines
  • pulmonary embolism
  • tears in the sutures that reconnect the remaining parts of your digestive system
  • urinary problems

After your colectomy, you will need to spend some time in the hospital to allow your digestive system to heal. You will be monitored at all times for any signs of complications and depending on your condition and situation, you may spend a few days to a week in the hospital. All surgeries involve some degree of risk, and discussing this with your doctor is an important part of preparing for any surgery.

All robotic procedures are done in an operating room, with a specially trained surgical staff. You will be under general anesthesia, and constantly monitored by an anesthesiologist. To begin the procedure, the surgeon makes 4 – 6 small incisions in the abdomen, which is then inflated with carbon dioxide to give the surgeon room to work.

Specially designed surgical instruments and a tiny camera will be attached to robotic arms and precisely inserted through the incisions. The surgeon then sits at a nearby console, controlling every movement of the robotic arms in order to perform the surgery.

If the colectomy is done in the colon, the surgeon:

  • cuts the colon on either side of the diseased segment
  • removes the segment through one of the incisions
  • inserts a seal and sutures the two new ends together

If the colectomy is done in the rectum, the surgeon:

  • carefully resects (or frees) the rectum from where it is attached
  • ties off the blood supply
  • divides the rectum to separate the part that needs to be removed
  • removes the selected section
  • puts everything back together

Once the procedure is complete, the camera and surgical instruments are removed and the abdominal incisions sutured. If a colostomy is needed, it is created at one of the incision sites.

People who undergo a robotic colectomy stay in the hospital 3-4 days, and are often back to work in 2 weeks and experience much less pain than patients who undergo open colectomy.

Also, robotic surgery gives the surgeon flexible surgical instruments that mimic the movements of the surgeon's wrist, a 3D field of view at the console and a magnified field of view.

A better experience for the surgeon often means a better outcome for the patient, including less chance of complications.

The overall complication rate for colectomies is very low but with any open procedure, there is an increased risk of post-surgery infection, breakthrough bleeding and blood clots.

The seal at the new connection point of the intestine fails in 1-3% of cases. With laparoscopic colectomy, there is an increased risk for damaging the nerves that affect the bladder, and in men, the nerves that affect sexual function.

With robotic colectomy, complications are uncommon.

If you have been diagnosed with a colon condition (inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, colon cancer) your doctor may recommend surgery. Ask your doctor about the minimally invasive da Vinci surgery to learn more about its advantages!

da Vinci surgery requires just a few small incisions. The system features a magnified 3D high-definition vision system and instruments that bend and rotate greater than a human wrist. da Vinci colectomy offers the following potential benefits:

  • low blood loss
  • low rate of complications
  • precise removal of cancerous tissue
  • quick return of bowel function
  • quick return to a normal diet
  • short hospital stay
  • small incisions for minimal scarring
  • low conversion rate to open surgery compared to traditional laparoscopy

Frequently Asked Questions About Colectomy

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

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