Colon & Rectal Surgery

Colon Cancer: New England's Most Experienced Surgeons 

The colon and rectal surgeons at Saint Francis have performed more robotic colorectal surgeries than any other hospital team in New England and rank in the top 10 for volume in the United States. When it comes to surgery, more experience correlates with better results. The Saint Francis robotic colorectal surgery program also has earned the distinction as a Colorectal Epicenter. Surgeons from across the country visit Saint Francis to learn from Dr. David Walters and his colleagues. Saint Francis is one of only four daVinci colorectal teaching sites in the nation.

Da Vinci Robotic Surgery® is used to treat such colorectal conditions as colon cancer, rectal cancer, diverticulitis, and inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease). Surgery to remove all or part of the colon is known as a colectomy. Rectal cancer surgery is known as a low anterior resection. 

 Learn more about da Vinci Robotic Surgery® for colon and rectal cancer 

Colon Surgery

Digestive systemSurgery is the main treatment for colon cancer. The surgery is called a colectomy or a segmental resection. Usually the cancer and a piece of normal colon on either side of the cancer (as well as nearby lymph nodes) are removed. The two ends of the colon are then sewn back together. For colon cancer, a colostomy (an opening on the belly for getting rid of body wastes) is not usually needed, although sometimes a short-term colostomy may be done to let the colon heal. Da Vinci offers patients facing colon surgery (right, left or sigmoid colectomy) such potential benefits as:  

  •  Less blood loss 
  •  Quicker return to bowel function 
  •  Quicker return to diet  
  •  Shorter hospital stay 
  •  Potentially better rates of optimum cancer removal

Rectal surgery

Surgery is usually the main treatment for rectal cancer, although radiation and chemo will often be given before or after surgery. At Saint Francis, da Vinci Robotic Surgery® may be an option if your doctor recommends a low anterior resection. This approach is used for cancers near the upper part of the rectum, close to where it connects with the colon. The surgeon removes the cancer and a small amount of normal tissue on either side of the cancer, along with nearby lymph nodes and a large amount of fatty and fibrous tissue around the rectum. The anus is not affected. After the surgery, the colon is reattached to the anus and waste leaves the body in the usual way.

 Da Vinci offers patients facing rectal cancer surgery (low anterior resection and APR) such potential benefits as: 

  •  Excellent clinical outcomes for cancer control 
  •  Quick return of bowel function 
  •  Faster return to diet 
  •  Less blood loss 
  •  Shorter hospital stay 
  •  Faster recovery time 

Learn more about colon and rectal cancer... 

Saint Francis surgeons collaborate closely with the Saint Francis/Mount Sinai Regional Cancer Center