Colectomy consists of the surgical resections of all or parts of the colon (large bowel). It is normally performed for a variety of benign or malignant conditions such as diverticular disease, inflammatory bowel disease, or large polyps and colorectal cancer.
During laparoscopic colectomy, several small incisions will be made on the abdomen: 2 incisions measuring between 0.5 to 1 cm to mobilise the colon, and another incision measuring 3 to 4 cm, for the purpose of extracting the specimen. This method is compared favourably to the long abdominal midline incision of about 15 to 20cm, which is typically expected of a patient who undergoes conventional colectomy.
Laparoscopic surgery is suitable for most colorectal operations. However, it may not be suitable in certain cases, such as when the patient has severe cardiorespiratory disease, if the tumour is too large, or if the patient has had multiple abdominal operations previously.
Some advantages of the laparoscopic surgery include less post-operative pain, faster recovery and lower wound infection rates. There are also fewer complications.
Several studies have shown that the procedure is safe and the adequacy of resection margins is equal to that of the conventional technique.