Almost all people are candidates for laparoscopic
colon surgery or minimally invasive surgery in general.
In 2005 there are very few indications to have a procedure
preformed using open technology and anyone that is advised
by their physician that laparoscopic surgery cannot be done
should seek a second opinion. Obtain a thorough medical evaluation
by a surgeon qualified in laparoscopic colon resection in
consultation with your primary care physician to find out
if the technique is appropriate for you.
Certain factors affect prognosis (chance of recovery) and
treatment options, these factors will be evaluated by your
surgeon. Your candidacy may depend on one or more of the following:
- The stage of the cancer (whether the cancer is in the
inner lining of the colon only, involves the whole colon,
or has spread to other places in the body).
- Whether the cancer has blocked or created a hole in the
- The blood levels of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA; a substance
in the blood that may be increased when cancer is present)
before treatment begins.
- Whether the cancer has recurred.
- The patient’s general health.
As with any operation, there is the risk of a complication.
However, the risk of one of these complications occurring
is no higher than if the operation was done with the open
technique. Slight risk:
- Bleeding or infection (present with any operation)
Even smaller risk:
- A leak where the colon was connected back together.
- Injury to adjacent organs such as the small intestine,
ureter, or bladder
- Blood clots to the lungs.
It is important for you to recognize the early signs of possible
complications. Contact your surgeon if you notice severe abdominal
pain, fevers, chills or rectal bleeding.
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What Happens if the
Operation Cannot be Performed or Completed by the Laparoscopic
In a small number of patients the laparoscopic method does
not work effectively. Factors that may increase the possibility
of choosing or converting to the "open" procedure
- a history of prior abdominal surgery causing dense scar
- inability to visualize organs
- bleeding problems during the operation
The decision to perform the open procedure is a judgment
decision made by your surgeon either before or during the
actual operation. The decision to convert to an open (conventional)
procedure is strictly based on patient safety.
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