Health Watch - Colorectal Cancer: Robotic Surgery

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about colon cancer as we observe National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Once colon cancer is detected, one treatment option may be surgery to remove the tumor or the affected part of the colon. Robotic surgeons could make this surgery easier and more precise.

A four-armed robot controlled by a surgeon with a joystick allows better camera views for laparoscopic surgery, as well as more precise surgical manipulation. Dr. Edward Livingston, a surgeon at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says the surgical robot offers easier access to some of the more inaccessible areas in the abdomen. Laparoscopic surgery is performed with instruments inserted through small incisions and guided by cameras inserted through incisions. It generally allows a faster recovery time, and has been shown to be as effective as conventional surgery for treating colon cancer.

Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/cancercenter  to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in cancer treatment.

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March 2009


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