Colon and Rectal Cancer Treatment and Surgery
Most colon and rectal cancers require a combination of therapies to be cured. Mount Sinai's surgeons take a whole-disease approach to colon and rectal cancer. Using a multidisciplinary approach, we work with other specialists within Mount Sinai to create a custom treatment program that includes radiation therapy and chemotherapy as needed. This multidisciplinary approach treats the full patient, not just the source of the disease. Our surgeons have extensive experience in the following colon and rectal procedures:
- Local excision of rectal cancer and polyps: The surgeon inserts an instrument into the rectum and removes the tumor without the need for an abdominal operation. This procedure is often appropriate for rectal cancers found at an early stage.
- Colectomy: This procedure entails removing the part of the colon with the tumor and nearby tissues containing lymph nodes. The procedure typically reconnects, or anastomoses, the healthy colon with the rectum. Mount Sinai surgeons frequently perform this type of surgery with minimally invasive techniques (laparoscopy), which allow for less pain, faster recovery, and superior cosmetic results. In fact, our surgeons participated in the national randomized trial on laparoscopic surgery for colon cancer.
- Colostomy: In rare cases, the surgeon cannot safely reconnect the two ends of the colon. Should this happen, the surgeon brings the free end of the colon through the abdominal wall, where it empties waste into a special appliance worn underneath the clothing. Though usually temporary, there are some cases in which the colostomy is permanent.
- Proctocolectomy, or Total Colectomy: Most commonly performed for advanced rectal cancer, this procedure entails removing the rectum and part of the colon.. Radiation and chemotherapy often precede surgery. The rectum is then removed, and the colon is attached to the area just above the sphincter muscles. The creation of a new reservoir, called a J pouch, improves post-operative bowel function with fewer, more formed bowel movements.
Mount Sinai Surgical Associates
Division of Surgical Oncology
5 East 98th Street, 12th Floor
New York, NY 10029