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Treatment Options

Many conditions and diseases can affect the gastrointestinal tract, such as:

  • Rectal cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Diverticulitis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), (includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease)

These conditions may cause chronic pain, as well as other disabling symptoms. When medication, lifestyle changes and other non-surgical treatments cannot relieve symptoms, surgery may be recommended.

During rectal cancer surgery, known as low anterior resection, the surgeon removes the diseased part of the rectum without affecting the anus. The colon is then attached to the remaining part of the rectum. This allows patients to move their bowels in the usual way and avoid colostomy (portion of large intestine brought through the abdomen to carry stool out of the body) bag.

In cases where the cancer is located very low in the rectum and invades the anal muscles, an abdominoperineal resection (commonly called APR) may be required. During an APR, the entire rectum is removed. Unfortunately, this procedure will require a colostomy bag for the patient.

During surgery for colon cancer, diverticulitis or IBD, all or part of the diseased colon is removed during what is called a colectomy, colon resection or hemicolectomy. Surgery on your right colon (ascending) is called a right colectomy; surgery on your left colon (descending) is a left colectomy; and surgery on the sigmoid colon (lower left colon just before the rectum) is called a sigmoid colectomy.

Surgery may be performed using open surgery or minimally invasive surgery.

  • Open Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery

PN 1002271 Rev A 04/2013 U 1-11-11

Serious complications may occur in any surgery, including da Vinci® Surgery, up to and including death. Examples of serious or life-threatening complications, which may require prolonged and/or unexpected hospitalization and/or reoperation, include but are not limited to, one or more of the following: injury to tissues/organs, bleeding, infection and internal scarring that can cause long-lasting dysfunction/pain. Risks of surgery also include the potential for equipment failure and/or human error. Individual surgical results may vary.

Risks specific to minimally invasive surgery, including da Vinci Surgery, include but are not limited to, one or more of the following: temporary pain/nerve injury associated with positioning; temporary pain/discomfort from the use of air or gas in the procedure; a longer operation and time under anesthesia and conversion to another surgical technique. If your doctor needs to convert the surgery to another surgical technique, this could result in a longer operative time, additional time under anesthesia, additional or larger incisions and/or increased complications.

Patients who are not candidates for non-robotic minimally invasive surgery are also not candidates for da Vinci® Surgery. Patients should talk to their doctor to decide if da Vinci Surgery is right for them. Patients and doctors should review all available information on non-surgical and surgical options in order to make an informed decision. For Important Safety Information, including surgical risks, indications, and considerations and contraindications for use, please also refer to www.davincisurgery.com/safety and www.intuitivesurgical.com/safety. Unless otherwise noted, all people depicted are models.

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This website does not provide medical advice. If you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.

The materials on this website are for general educational information only. Information you read on this website cannot replace the relationship that you have with your healthcare professional. Intuitive Surgical does not practice medicine or provide medical services or advice and the information on this website should not be considered medical advice. You should always talk to your healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment. Health information changes quickly. Therefore, it is always best to consult with your healthcare provider.

If you have questions about the da Vinci® Surgical System or about surgical procedures conducted with the da Vinci Surgical System, consult a surgeon that has experience with the da Vinci Surgical System. A list of surgeons that have experience with the da Vinci Surgical System can be found in the Surgeon Locator.

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