Treating Rectal Cancer: What Is Local Excision Surgery

If you’ve been diagnosed with rectal cancer, chances are you may need some type of surgery to effectively treat your cancer. The type of surgery your doctor will opt to perform depends on the stage of your cancer. One common type of rectal cancer surgery is local excision surgery. In this article we will discuss how local excision surgery works and the criteria for this surgical procedure as a treatment method.

What is rectal cancer?

 Rectal cancer is a form of cancer that affects the rectum or the lower part of the digestive system above the anus. The rectum begins at the end of the final segment of your colon and ends when it reaches the short, narrow passage leading to the anus. As mentioned, most people will need some form of surgery to treat their rectal cancer, ranging from traditional open surgery procedures to other minimally invasive surgical options for early-stage rectal cancer.  

What is local excision surgery?

Local excision surgery is one of the surgical procedures that can be performed early on after a rectal cancer diagnosis. Local excision is one of the more minimally invasive surgical procedures to remove rectal cancer. This type of surgery is able to preserve the anus, preventing complications that may occur with more extensive surgeries for rectal cancer.  

What happens during local excision surgery?

During a local excision, the surgeon employs the use of tools and a colonoscope to remove cancerous tissue on the inside lining of the rectum along with a small amount of surrounding healthy tissue on the wall of rectum. Local excision surgery allows for most of the cancerous tissue to be removed with only a small amount of surrounding healthy tissue. When cancer or polyps are taken out this way, surgery does not have to be performed through the abdomen.

Criteria for Local Excision Surgery

There are a few important criteria for a colorectal specialist to determine which type of surgery will be done. One is the stage the cancer is in at the time of diagnosis, and the other is how close the tumor is to the anus. Local excision surgery allows polyps (cancer-causing masses) to be removed early on during a colonoscopy.

Are there complications associated with the procedure?

The procedure has minimal complications compared to traditional open-surgery methods through the abdomen. For the local transanal excision to properly work, the entirety of the cancer has to be removed, which means patients with larger areas of cancer may want to opt for another more traditional type of surgery.

If you have been diagnosed with rectal cancer and need rectal surgery in Tampa, consider calling the Colorectal Specialists at the Colorectal Clinic of Tampa.