Small Bowel and Colon Surgery
General surgeons at Memorial Healthcare System have extensive experience in many different small bowel and colon procedures. Our surgeons use advanced minimally invasive surgery whenever possible to provide better outcomes and shorter recovery.
Small Bowel and Colon Surgery: Why Choose Memorial Healthcare System?
Our general surgeons are highly trained in a variety of surgical conditions and methods. Choose our hospitals for:
- Convenience: We have multiple hospitals with experienced surgeons throughout Broward County in South Florida. You can get convenient care close to home.
- Experience: All our surgeons have advanced training in minimally invasive surgery, as well as traditional open surgery. We perform thousands of surgeries every year using these techniques.
- Patient- and family-centered care: We put patients and their families at the center of our care. Our approach helps you make the right treatment decisions and get the care you need from a team of caring providers.
Conditions We Treat With Colon and Small Bowel Surgery
Our surgeons treat a variety of conditions that affect the small bowel, colon and rectum. These include both benign (noncancerous) and malignant (cancerous) diseases of the colon, including:
- Colon cancer: This is the fourth most common cancer in the United States. It occurs when polyps (a growth of cells along the intestine wall) become cancerous tumors. Not all polyps will become cancerous but removing suspicious polyps in surgery can reduce the risk of cancer.
- Colitis: Chronic inflammation in the large intestine leads to small ulcers and a condition called ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s Disease. When ulcers produce pus or mucus, it causes severe abdominal pain and frequent trips to the bathroom.
- Diverticulosis: A condition in which small pouches called diverticula form in your digestive system, usually in the lower large intestine. They are common in people over the age of 40 and do not require treatment unless they become infected.
- Diverticulitis: When diverticula get infected and cause pain, fever and nausea it is called diverticulitis. This condition also causes a change in bowel habits, usually constipation, although you may experience diarrhea.
- Small bowel cancer: This cancer is rare, but it affects the digestive system that carries food between the stomach and large intestine. The cause is malignant tumors or growths in the small intestine.
Types of Small Bowel and Colon Surgery We Offer
Our surgeons have comprehensive training in advanced minimally invasive surgery. We perform thousands of minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic procedures every year. Minimally invasive techniques can reduce the time you spend in surgery, minimize pain after surgery and speed up your recovery.
When you meet with our surgeons, we discuss the diagnosis and find the best option for treatment, which may include:
- Colon resection (colectomy): This procedure removes all or part of the large intestine (the colon). Surgeons may use colectomy to treat Crohn’s disease, colitis, constipation and sometimes colon cancer.
- Ostomy surgery: This surgery changes the way your body removes waste products (urine and stool). Instead of traveling through the colon, they are routed to a temporary or permanent opening called a stoma. A small pouch attached to the stoma collects the waste.
- Small intestine and bowel surgery: We use this surgery to remove a portion of your small bowel when it is damaged or blocked. Surgeons may also use this procedure to remove small intestine tumors or polyps.
Collaborative Surgery Care for Small Bowel Cancer and Colon Cancer
When performing surgery to treat small bowel and colon cancer, surgeons collaborate with colorectal cancer specialists throughout Memorial Healthcare System, including:
- Medical oncologists: Doctors with specialized training in diagnosing and treating cancer, including small bowel and colon cancers. Medical oncologists create treatment plans to stop or slow the spread of cancer.
- Pathologists: A trained medical provider who looks at tissue samples (biopsies) to diagnose a condition. We work with pathologists to determine whether tissue samples from the colon and small bowel are benign or malignant.
- Radiation oncologists: A medical provider with advanced training creating and administering radiation treatments for cancer. Radiation therapy is a high dose of intense energy directed to a specific part of the body to kill cancer cells.
Coordinated care between our surgeons and oncology team ensures you get the best treatment after a cancer diagnosis. We work with your care team to determine the best time to perform surgery to remove cancerous tumors or polyps.
Diagnosing Small Bowel and Colon Conditions
There are three ways doctors diagnose conditions affecting the small bowel and colon:
- Endoscopy procedures: Doctors use a long, flexible scope with a camera and a light to examine the small bowel and colon. They may also take tissue samples (biopsy) that go to a lab for analysis and help diagnose certain conditions. One of the most common endoscopy procedures is a colonoscopy.
- Imaging tests: Doctors may use X-ray, CT scans or magnetic resonance (MR) enterography tests to look for signs of inflammation. MR enterography is a type of MRI that uses contrast dye to look at the small intestine.
- Laboratory tests: These include blood tests and stool studies to check for signs of infection. They can also detect things like bacteria, viruses or parasites that can cause bowel and colon disease.
Find an Experienced Surgeon Today
Call 954-276-7874 or search for a provider online to find a surgeon with the right experience in colon and small bowel procedures.