The type of rectal or colon cancer surgery procedure performed depends on the stage of the cancer, the exact location of the tumor and the patient’s general health. Colorectal surgery ranges from polyp removal to bowel removal.
In the early stages of colorectal cancer, the purpose of surgery is to remove the tumor and, if necessary, to also remove the section of rectum or colon surrounding the tumor. This type of surgery offers the best hope for full recovery from cancer.
The following are types of colorectal cancer surgeries performed at Florida Hospital:
- Polypectomy, usually done during a colonoscopy to remove a polyp
- Local excision, usually done during a colonoscopy to remove very shallow tumors and surrounding tissue.
- Resection, an open procedure that requires an incision to remove part of the colon and/or rectum as well as nearby lymph nodes. In cases of colon cancer, this procedure is called a colectomy. Depending on the extent of the surgery necessary and the location of the cancer, this type of surgery for rectal cancer is called an abdominoperineal (AP) resection, a transanal resection, a lower anterior resection or a proctectomy.
- Pelvic exenteration, to remove nearby organs and pelvic structure in advanced stages colorectal cancer.
Prior to surgery, your physician may order chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment. The purpose of this neoadjuvant (pre-surgical) treatment is to shrink the size of the tumor so that your surgeon does not have to remove the muscles of the sphincter, which is the band at the end of the anus that keeps waste from falling out. This type of procedure is called a sphincter-saving surgery.