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About Colon Cancer
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Am I a Candidate?
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Florida Hospital Celebration Health
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 Am I a Candidate for this Procedure?
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Introduction
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 colon.
  • 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.

What Complications Can Occur?
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 Method?
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 may include:

  • obesity
  • a history of prior abdominal surgery causing dense scar tissue
  • 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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This information is not intended to take the place of your discussion with your surgeon about your need for colon surgery. If you have questions about your need for a colon operation, your alternatives, the cost of the procedure, billing or insurance, or your surgeon's training and experience, do not hesitate to ask your surgeon or his/her office staff about it. If you have questions about the operation or subsequent follow-up, please discuss them with your surgeon before or after the operation. Terms of Use