What happens during each stage of Colorectal Cancer?

Some patients will develop worrying symptoms with their bowels, this may be a change in bowel habits, they may develop diarrhea, they may notice some blood within their stool. They may also find that they have a mass within their tummy or have unusual pains. These will need investigating.

The most usual tests for the bowels are a coloscopy or a flexible sigmoidoscopy alternatively sometimes you may have imaging such as a CT scan. said by Mr charlie consultant general colorectal surgeon at the University Hospital Coventry, Warwickshire.

CT Scan

If these tests find a worrying lesion, this will need further investigation. If these investigations identify a worrying lesion, there is a high chance that this could be a bowel cancer.

All bowel cancers need complete staging which includes a CT scan of your chest, abdomen, pelvis but also if the lesion is within the lower bowel, the rectum, you will also need an MRI scan of the pelvis.

DaVinci Gadget

Once all this imaging has been performed and the information from the test put together, it will be discussed at a multidisciplinary team meeting, where you have cancer specialists, bowel surgeon specialists, pathologists and x-ray doctors.

A lot of patients at this point will be referred on to surgeons for an operation to remove the tumour. These operations are generally done by specialist colorectal surgeons can be done either as open operation or keyhole operations. Most of specialists doing keyhole activities do them as standard laparoscopic tasks. However, an increasing number are performing them robotically. Automated medical procedure in the UK is most regularly performed utilizing the DaVinci gadget made by Intuitive. There are three parts to the robotic device.

The surgeon console, the patient side cart and the vision stack. The surgeon sits at the console while the patient has a side cart attached to instrument it that go within the patient’s abdomen.

The surgeon console allows a surgeon to see in 3D, high-definition within the body.

Surgeon Operate in a precise way

This is really important when you’re trying to operate in a precise way in a narrow difficult area. There is also control of the instrument through the console.

The surgeon uses pincers to move the instrument, so as the surgeon moves his hand, the instrument is carefully and precisely moved within the patient’s abdomen, again to ensure that everything is done in a controlled manner to avoid any damage.

The instruments that are used within the patient are inserted through normal laparoscopic ports into the patient but they are attached to the patient’s side cart. This enables these instruments to have extra functions that normal laparoscopic ones don’t have. Normal laparoscopic instruments open and close without any other range of movement, however, the robotic ones have a articulating wrist.

This empowers the specialist to work their way around twists which is especially vital when you’re attempting to work down in the pelvis. Any patient with rectal cancer will require surgery within their pelvis.

The pelvis is a very challenging place to operate because it is a confined space and carries important pelvic nerves have blood vessels. The nerve supply, urinary and sexual function and the blood vessels drain not only the pelvis but also supply the blood supply to the lower limbs.

When operating on rectal cancer, it is very important that not only do you remove the cancer but also the lining of the bowel with it so as this reduces the risk of recurrence. It is important that you perform a total rectal excision.

What are the benefits of robotic surgery for colorectal cancer?

I believe that robotic surgery in colorectal cancer has many benefits to the patient and the surgeon .

There are the benefits of reducing the risk of converting to an open operation, you have precise operating, avoiding the risk of damage to nerves and blood vessels.

Surgeon Charlie also believe it offers the greatest chance of removing the cancer in a safe way to reduce the risk of occurrence.