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Laparoscopic colectomy, a treatment option for colorectal cancer


Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancer found in both women and men. The disease can be alarming as people with colon cancer do not usually have symptoms or signs of illness at an early stage. Hence, it is crucial for people who are at risk of having colorectal cancer to undergo colonoscopy. The earlier cancer is detected in the colon, the more treatment options are available for patients, including laparoscopic colectomy, which can result in faster recovery period.

Dr. Narain Santikulanont, Colorectal surgeon at Vejthani Hospital explained that colorectal cancer is caused by abnormal growth of cells in the colon. Over 90% of colorectal cancer patients are aged over 50 years old. Colorectal cancer does not show symptoms until the disease is advanced. However, it can be detected by colonoscopy. Before the abnormal cell mutates and forms into a cancer cell, polyps are usually found in the colon, which gradually grows larger and develop into colorectal cancer.

The estimated success rate of treating colorectal cancer varies upon the stage of the disease as follows:

  • Stage I – This is an early stage of the cancer. It has not grown and spread to nearby tissues. This stage can be treated by surgery so the success rate is relatively high.
  • Stage II – Cancer cell has grown deeply into the muscle layer of the colon wall and might spread to nearby tissues and organs.
  • Stage III – Cancer cell has begun to spread to lymph nodes which must be removed by surgery and the patient has to receive chemotherapy in order to control and prevent the recurrence of cancer.
  • Stage IV – This is a severe stage of the disease. Cancer has spread to other organs of the body through blood and lymph nodes.  Treatment requires surgical removal of organs that have been affected by cancer along with chemotherapy.

To treat colorectal cancer, doctors will consider using combinations of different methods of treatments including surgical treatment, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. However, it depends on the consideration of the medical team who will plan a proper treatment for the patient to obtain a better quality of life.

The primary treatment option for colorectal cancer is surgical treatment. The traditional surgical treatment is often an open colectomy which leaves an approximately 15 – 30 cm long incision, depending on the size and location of the cancer tumor. However, with the help of state-of-the-art technology, laparoscopic colectomy has become a popular surgical technique used to treat colorectal cancer. Laparoscopic colectomy is a minimally invasive procedure. A tiny high-definition camera is inserted into the abdomen to remove the cancerous parts of the colon and lymph nodes. The advantages of laparoscopic colectomy include small incision, less pain, faster recovery, and eventually allows patients to return to their normal and healthy lives. 

Nevertheless, the result of laparoscopic colectomy might not be as good as an open colectomy. The surgical procedure used on patients depends on the diagnosis of the doctors and their decisions on which technique will be the best and most effective treatment for the patient. 

To make an appointment, kindly contact Colorectal Surgery Clinic at +66(0)2-734-0000 ext. 4500 or 4501.

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