Laparoscopy (cont.)

How is the laparoscopy procedure performed?

Three or more small (5-10 mm) incisions are made in the abdomen to allow access ports to be inserted. The laparoscope and surgical instruments are inserted through these ports. The surgeon then uses the laparoscope, which transmits a picture of the abdominal organs on a video monitor, allowing the operation to be performed.

Laparoscopic intestinal surgery can be used to perform the following operations:

  • Proctosigmoidectomy. Surgical removal of a diseased section of the rectum and sigmoid colon. Used to treat cancers and noncancerous growths or polyps, and complications of diverticulitis.
  • Right colectomy or Ileocolectomy. During a right colectomy, the right side of the colon is removed. During an ileocolectomy, the last segment of the small intestine - which is attached to the right side of the colon, called the ileum, is also removed. Used to remove cancers, noncancerous growths or polyps, and inflammation from Crohn's disease.
  • Total abdominal colectomy. Surgical removal of the large intestine. Used to treat ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, familial polyposis and possibly constipation.
  • Fecal diversion. Surgical creation of either a temporary or permanent ileostomy (opening between the surface of the skin and the small intestine) or (colostomy (opening between the surface of the skin and the colon). Used to treat complex rectal and anal problems, including poor bowel control.
  • Abdominoperineal resection. Surgical removal of the anus, rectum and sigmoid colon. Used to remove cancer in the lower rectum or in the anus, close to the sphincter (control) muscles.
  • Rectopexy. A procedure in which stitches are used to secure the rectum in its proper position. Used to correct rectal prolapse.
  • Total proctocolectomy. This is the most extensive bowel operation performed and involves the removal of both the rectum and the colon. If the surgeon is able to leave the anus and it works properly, then sometimes an ileal pouch can be created so that you can go to the bathroom. An ileal pouch is a surgically created chamber made up of the lowest part of the small intestine (the ileum). However, sometimes, a permanent ileostomy (opening between the surface of the skin and the small intestine) is needed particularly if the anus must be removed, is weak, or has been damaged.

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