According to the American Cancer Society, excluding skin cancer, Colorectal Cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States and there are approximately 140,000 new cases of colorectal cancer diagnosed each year in the U.S.
Traditionally, when patients are diagnosed with this type of cancer, they require a surgery to access the abdominal cavity and remove the parts of the colon and rectum that have cancerous lesions.
Now, there is a new option for select patients with large polyps and/or early cancerous lesions.
Presbyterian/St. Luke's (P/SL) Medical Center, led by colorectal surgeon Dr. Warren Strutt, is pioneering a new type of endoscopic robotic-assisted surgery for patients. It is one of a handful of hospitals in the country using this new technology.
9NEWS Medical Expert, Dr. Comilla Sasson, spoke with the doctor who is using the new robot.
"We are pleased to offer patients a less invasive procedure for faster recovery with minimized pain," Dr. Strutt said.
The new minimally invasive approach may: be used for patients who are not good surgical candidates, shorten the length of stay in the hospital, and decrease pain and surgical complication rates.
Robotic-assisted surgery has been used for a variety of other medical conditions, but access, thanks to this new flexible robot, is new to the surgical treatment of colorectal cancer.
Sasson says using this new robotic tool can cut back on complications that can come with surgery. She says not all patients will be candidates for this type of procedure, but it is exciting to see where this field will go in the next few years.