Transanal Colon Resection
Surgery is a common treatment for rectal cancer. The type of surgery will depend on several factors, including:
- The stage, grade, and location of cancer
- The size of the tumor
- Your age, general health, and medical history
Your doctor will discuss different surgical and treatment options for rectal cancer to determine the best method for you. Transanal colon resection, also known as transanal excision, is a minimally invasive procedure that removes benign (polyps) or malignant cancer in the rectum.
Polys and rectal cancer
Polyps and rectal cancer develop from the growth of abnormal cells in the rectum that cluster together, forming tumors. These tumors can vary in size and location and may change over the tumor’s lifecycle. They typically start as polyps, sometimes called benign tumors, and are usually smaller in size; however, these polyps can progress into harmful, cancerous tumors if left untreated.
It is important to take care of polyps before they become more serious but it may take years before symptoms of polyps or rectal cancer start to show, meaning they can go undiagnosed for several years. Most often, they are diagnosed during a routine colonoscopy, but it is important to talk to your doctor if you start to experience symptoms such as; bleeding, soreness, or pus.
About the procedure
The procedure is generally performed using local anesthesia in an outpatient setting and may be done at the same time as a colonoscopy. During a transanal colon resection, your doctor inserts instruments through the anus, allowing the polyps to be removed without having to cut through the skin. This technique removes small, early stage tumors or polyps, along with some of the surrounding tissue. Removing some of the healthy tissue nearby will increase the likelihood that the entire tumor is removed.
A transanal colon resection is not appropriate for all patients. It is not able to reach tumors that are too far into the colon, and some tumors, depending on size and stage, may require additional surgery or treatments like chemotherapy or radiation.
Recovery after the procedure
Most people are able to go home the same day after surgery; however, you may experience pain or soreness, so you should refrain from strenuous activity for a couple of days after returning home.