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Treatment of Rectal Cancer

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Rectum is located at the end of your large intestine and receives and stores waste until it is released through the anus. Conditions affecting the rectum, including cancer, are common. In 2021, it’s expected that doctors will diagnose more than 44,000 new cases of rectal cancer in the U.S.1 Other rectal conditions include, but are not limited to, rectal prolapse (when the rectum drops from its normal position and slips out through the anus), bulging blood vessels (hemorrhoids), inflammation that can become chronic, infected abscesses, and benign or precancerous polyps and tumors.

Understanding your options

Rectal conditions can range from causing minor discomfort to being life-threatening. There are several options for managing noncancerous rectal conditions, including medications, changes to your diet and lifestyle, and localized removal of small areas of abnormal tissue.2 If these options fail to relieve symptoms, your doctor may suggest surgery.??If you have been diagnosed with rectal cancer your doctor may recommend chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery to remove the rectum and nearby lymph nodes, or a combination of these options depending on the type of cancer and how far it has advanced.??One type of surgery in which surgeons can remove the diseased section of the rectum, along with nearby lymph nodes, is a procedure called a low anterior resection. After the surgeon has removed the diseased section of your rectum, he or she may then reattach the two healthy parts of the intestine, performing what is known as an anastomosis.??The surgeon can perform a low anterior resection through open surgery or a minimally invasive approach. Traditional open surgery requires the surgeon to make an incision in your abdomen large enough to see the rectum and perform the procedure using hand-held tools.??There are two minimally invasive approaches for lower anterior resection: laparoscopic or robotic-assisted surgery, possibly with da Vinci technology. Both minimally invasive surgical options require a few small incisions that doctors use to insert surgical equipment and a camera for viewing. In laparoscopic surgery, doctors use special long-handled tools to perform surgery while viewing magnified images from the laparoscope (camera) on a video screen.

Our Surgeons use da Vinci technology to remove part or all of your rectum through a few small incisions (cuts). During surgery, your surgeon sits at a console next to you and operates using tiny, wristed instruments. The da Vinci system translates every hand movement your surgeon makes in real time to bend and rotate the instruments with precision.??A camera provides a high-definition, 3D magnified view inside your body. Your surgeon may use Firefly fluorescence imaging, which offers visualization beyond the human eye by activating injected dye to light up and clearly show the blood flow to the colon. This may help your surgeon during the procedure.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.