Minimally Invasive Surgical Treatment

Minimally invasive approaches in small bowel surgery have rapidly advanced in the last decade. At the Henry Ford IBD Center, our colorectal surgery group is highly experienced in these advanced surgeries. In fact, 90 percent of patients having an initial surgery at Henry Ford benefit from these minimally invasive techniques, which result in less scarring, fewer complications and faster healing times.

What is minimally invasive bowel surgery?

Colorectal surgery at one time required open-abdomen procedures. Now, more advanced, minimally invasive approaches in small bowel surgery are more common and, when appropriate, include techniques like laparoscopy and robotic surgery. These are advanced procedures that are completed through multiple small incisions (less than one inch), and in some cases, without any incisions at all.

Benefits of minimally invasive bowel surgery at Henry Ford

Our surgeons seek to avoid blood transfusions whenever possible, as they dramatically increase the risk of complications. Minimally invasive surgeries like laparoscopy, which involve only small incisions through which fine operating tools are inserted, result in significantly less bleeding and less need for blood transfusions. This is an important benefit of minimally invasive procedures.

Other benefits of minimally invasive colorectal surgery include:

  • Less pain
  • Shorter recovery time
  • Less scarring
  • Quicker discharge from the hospital
  • Less risk of infections
  • Less risk of hernia at the incision site

Robotic small bowel surgery at Henry Ford IBD Center

While robotic surgery is not yet the standard of care, our surgeons are highly practiced in this new minimally invasive surgical advancement. Patients who might be candidates for robotic surgery include ulcerative colitis patients who are planning for ileal pouch surgery. The robotic approach is used to create—with great precision—the interior pouch that collects waste and enables patients to maintain normal control of their bowels. This approach often leads to fewer complications and easier recovery.


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