Digestive Diseases: Laparoscopic Surgery
and Hand-Assisted Laparoscopic Surgery

Though many gastrointestinal disorders can be treated successfully with lifestyle changes or medications, some conditions may require surgery.

Laparoscopic surgery and hand-assisted laparoscopic surgery (HALS) are, "minimally invasive" procedures commonly used to treat diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Unlike traditional surgery on the colon or other parts of the intestines where a long incision down the center of the abdomen is required, laparoscopic surgery requires only small "keyhole" incisions in the abdomen. In the case of hand-assisted surgery, a 3-4 inch incision is also used to allow the surgeon's hand access to the abdominal organs. As a result, the person undergoing the procedure may experience less pain and scarring after surgery, and a more rapid recovery.

Conditions laparoscopic surgery (laparoscopy) treats

Laparoscopy can be used to treat the following conditions

  • Crohn's disease unresponsive to medical therapy or causing a blockage
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Diverticulitis with recurrent attacks or failure of medical therapy
  • Familial polyposis, a condition causing multiple colon polyps that puts you at higher risk of colorectal cancer, which then requires total colonectomy (removal of the colon)
  • Bowel incontinence
  • Rectal prolapse
  • Ulcerative colitis unresponsive to medical treatment
  • Colon polyps that are too large to remove by colonoscopy
  • Chronic severe constipation that is not successfully treated with medication may require shortening the length of the colon by removing a part of the colon using surgery.

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