Colorectal cancer is a term for cancer starting in the colon or rectum. This cancer can also be termed differently. If it starts in the colon, it can be called colon cancer. If it starts in the rectum, it can be called rectal cancer. With common features between colon and rectal cancer, both can be clubbed into one group.
Colorectal cancer can be treated depending on the stage it has reached. Systemic treatments involve oral or intravenous medication, like various drugs, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. Local treatments focus on the tumor. These can involve radiation therapy, surgery, etc. While open surgery is an option, robotic surgery is also a possible treatment. It depends on the cancer type and its stage. You can find hospitals offering cancer robotic surgery in India and find out if it works for you.
Before discussing robotic surgery, let us first understand the colon and rectum’s role in the body and colorectal cancer.
Colon and rectum’s role in our body
The colon and rectum are parts of the large intestine. The large intestine forms a part of our digestive system or gastrointestinal system (GI).
The colon gets undigested food from the small intestine. Once the food matter reaches the colon, salt and water get absorbed. The waste left after this absorption goes to the rectum, the last part of the digestive system. This waste then forms into a stool that comes out through the anus in a bowel movement.
When the body’s cells grow uncontrollably, it is known as cancer. The presence of growths, called polyps, on the inner lining of the rectum or colon, can lead to colorectal cancer. However, not all polyps lead to cancer. The growth turning into cancer depends on the types of polyps. Some polyps are non-cancerous, while with others, there is a possibility of cancer.
How does Colorectal cancer spread?
This cancer starts to spread after a polyp turns into cancer. Over time, this cancer can reach the colon’s or rectum’s wall, both of which have layers. The spread starts from the innermost layer and advances through some or all the layers. The cancer cells in the wall can also reach blood vessels and lymph vessels. They can then get to the lymph nodes close by or grow to reach other body parts.
Early diagnosis is helpful. You can choose treatments like medication, chemotherapy, open surgery, or cancer robotic surgery in India based on the diagnosis.
Robotic or robot-assisted surgery is an option among the surgical options available for colorectal cancer treatment. Robotic surgery is minimally invasive, where the surgeon is in control of the surgical system. This system allows the surgeon to operate with higher precision and range than without it.
This technology uses small instruments that are inserted through small incisions. The surgeon can see in 3D the parts where the instrument has entered and magnify the image for a better view.
Eligibility for robotic surgery
While colon and rectal cancer patients can opt for robotic surgery, everyone is not eligible. Eligibility depends on the following factors:
- The type of colorectal cancer.
- The patient’s current health condition.
- Surgeon’s experience in performing such a surgery.
The eligibility depends on the case, and you can get a clear idea after consulting a specialist. You can also go for a second opinion to be sure of the decision.
How is robotic surgery done?
Many hospitals facilitate cancer robotic surgery in India. But it is helpful to know how the surgery is done to get a general idea. Here is the procedure:
- The surgeon will first make a few small incisions in the abdomen. It is to insert the surgical instruments and a thin tube that is lit and has a camera at the end.
- The surgeon will operate using these instruments. All hand movements will transfer to the instruments, where they will move the same way. The instruments can rotate or bend as the surgeon requires.
- The surgeon may inject a dye to see the blood flow to the colon using fluorescence imaging.
- They will then remove the cancerous tissue in the rectum or colon, either partly or completely. They may also remove the lymph nodes nearby if needed.
- If the tissue to be removed is larger, the surgeon may have to make a bigger incision.
Benefits and risks of robotic colorectal surgery
Colorectal surgery offers many benefits but may not be recommended for all. When opting for this surgery, it is advisable to discuss its pros and cons with your surgeon to make an informed choice.
- It is a minimally invasive procedure.
- It leads to lower postoperative pain.
- Patients can recover faster than they would in open surgery. The hospital stay is shorter because of this.
- Smaller abdominal wounds reduce the possibility of complications.
- With robotic surgery, surgeons can operate with more precision and accuracy.
- Bowel leakage
- This surgery may have a longer operative time than open surgery for rectal and colon procedures.
If you require surgery for colorectal cancer, it is good to explore all options. If robotic surgery is recommended for the type of cancer you have, you can look for Best Cancer Hospital in Delhi offering cancer robotic surgery in India. You should consult more than one specialist (like a gastroenterologist, surgical oncologist, or colorectal surgeon) about your case before deciding.