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Colon and Rectal Surgery

Clinical Expertise

For appointments and information, please call (212) 746-6030

The Colon and Rectal surgical team addresses the full range of diseases and disorders that affect the colon, rectum and anus. Among these are precancerous polyps and cancers of the colon and rectum, inflammatory bowel disease, diverticulitis, lower gastrointestinal bleeding, ischemic or inflammatory colitis, familial adenomatous polyposis, rectal prolapse, hemorrhoids, anal fissures, and pilonidal cysts.

Laparoscopic minimally invasive surgery techniques are used in the treatment of both malignant and benign conditions of the colon and rectum. With minimally invasive laparoscopic colorectal surgery one of the fastest growing fields worldwide, our surgeons apply these advanced technologies to:

  • avoid large incisions
  • lessen trauma to the body
  • preserve colorectal structure and function, including the creation of bowel anastomosis, and innovative methods to avoid permanent colostomies and ileostomies
  • minimize the effect of surgery on the immune system

Colon and Rectal Tumors

Dr. Garrett
Over the past 10 to 15 years, the survival rate for patients with colorectal cancer has increased dramatically. Our surgeons work closely with medical oncologists, combining the latest immune therapy drugs with surgical techniques to offer patients with colon or rectal cancer the best chance for cure. For patients with rectal cancer, our goal is not only to achieve a cure, but also to avoid a permanent stoma and impairment of urological and sexual function. The modern management of rectal cancer strives to preserve quality of life, with great consideration for body image.

Weill Cornell Medical College surgeons, working with gastroenterologists, have pioneered a new technique that combines carbon dioxide colonoscopy with laparoscopy to treat benign colon conditions when colonoscopy alone would pose an increased risk to the patient due to the size or location of the polyp. Using laparoscopic instruments to aid the colonoscopic instruments, large polyps can then be removed. The carbon dioxide distends the colon enough for surgeons to remove the polyp but not so much as to obscure the view. A major advantage with this approach is that not only do patients avoid open surgery resection, with its possible complications and long recovery, they also generally return home the next day and recovery time is even quicker than with laparoscopic surgery. If the polyp turns out to be cancerous, laparoscopic surgery can be performed immediately to remove the growth. Our surgeons have published extensively on this subject and are considered world-renowned experts.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Dr. Hunt
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, affects an estimated two million Americans. The multidisciplinary integration of our colorectal surgeons with gastroenterologists, pathologists, and radiologists is helping to define state-of-the-art management for these painful and complex chronic diseases. Most recently, the Jill Roberts Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at Weill Cornell has been established to advance the medical care of patients with Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and other inflammatory-based digestive disorders.

Strictureplasty is an important surgical innovation in the treatment of Crohn's disease, alleviating obstructive symptoms without the need for intestinal resection. Preservation of bowel is a critical advantage in this disease because of its recurrent nature. Our division now offers an alternative bowel-sparing procedure-called side-to-side isoperistaltic strictureplasty (SSIS)-which was pioneered by Dr. Fabrizio Michelassi, Chair of Surgery and Surgeon-In-Chief at NY-Presybterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center. It has proven to be highly effective for avoiding major small bowel resections in patients with extensive disease, and further research is being conducted to determine whether it returns the bowel to normal functionality, as early data indicate. While a cure is still being sought for Crohn's, medicine and surgery together assume an important role in patient care. Learn more about pioneering bowel-sparing procedure for advanced crohn's disease.

Anorectal Disorders

Photo: Dr Govind Nandakumar
Our surgeons treat a range of anorectal disorders, including hemorrhoids, complex anal fistulas, infections, incontinence, and cancer.

Our approach to treating anal and rectal problems combines medical and surgical modalities, including the integration of the latest immune therapy drugs with surgical techniques, which is especially beneficial to patients with rectal cancer and new treatments for patients with disorders with bowel control or continence.

Patients whose sphincter nerves or muscles have been compromised benefit from newer fecal-continence preserving procedures, including nerve stimulation, implantation of an artificial sphincter mechanism, and the creation of a new rectum from healthy intestines. Among the procedures we employ to treat anal and rectal conditions are:

  • Endorectal advancement flap procedures in which healthy tissue is pulled over the internal side of the fistula to keep feces or other material from reinfecting the channel in the treatment of benign anorectal conditions.
  • Stapled hemorrhoidectomy – a much less painful procedure as compared to conventional techniques that reduces the prolapse of hemorrhoidal tissue by using a stapling device to excise a band of the involved tissue, restoring it back to its original position
  • Hemorrhoid banding and other nonsurgical methods to treat hemorrhoids in the office.
  • Pilonidal surgery – a procedure to drain infected cysts caused by pilonidal disease, which result from the body's reaction to ingrown hairs in the buttock crease area above the tailbone
  • Complex reconstruction of the anal muscles after injury or other diseases that have left patients with poor control of their bowels

Contact

Colon and Rectal Surgery
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(212) 746-6030
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        Phone: (212) 746-6006
        Fax: (212) 746-8753
        Address: 525 E. 68th Street
        Starr 8
        New York, NY 10065
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