Treating Rectal Cancer: What Is The LAR Surgery?

If you have been diagnosed with rectal cancer, your doctor may suggest rectal cancer surgery to remove the areas affected by cancer. One of the surgeries he or she may suggest is the low anterior resection surgery, a procedure in which the portion of the rectum containing the tumor is removed. Below, we discuss the lower anterior resection (LAR) surgery including what it is, how it’s performed, and where you can have this procedure done.

What is Low Anterior Resection Surgery?

LAR surgery is done to treat cancer of the rectum, usually in stage II or III rectal cancer. As mentioned above, during this surgery, the part of your rectum encompassing the cancer is removed, then the remaining portion of your rectum is reattached to your colon so that you will be able to move your bowels in the usual way. LAR surgery can be performed using a few different methods—talk to your colorectal specialist to decide which technique is right for you.

How LAR Surgery Works

A low anterior resection is usually performed while the patient is under general anesthesia. This allows the patient to sleep comfortably and not experience any pain or discomfort during the surgery. The surgeon makes small incisions across the lower abdomen. The cancer is then removed, along with nearby lymph nodes and other tissues around the rectum that could be affected.  

Benefits of LAR Surgery

 This surgery allows the patient to avoid having to have a long term colostomy. Colostomy is a surgery that creates a temporary or permanent opening called a stoma, which is a path from the large intestine that allows solid waste to exit your body through the abdomen. The waste accumulates in a bag on the outside of your body. 

Complications of LAR Surgery 

Side effects or complications from LAR surgery include obstructions when attempting to have a bowel movement, constipation, and incontinence.

What is the Recovery Time for LAR surgery?

Most patients spend a few days in the hospital after LAR surgery, which can change depending on how the surgery is performed. It could take 3 to 6 weeks to get back to your normal habits and lifestyle. 

Lower anterior resection surgery has helped many people get rid of cancer. If you are looking to have rectal surgery in Tampa, call the specialists at Colorectal Clinic of Tampa Bay to book your consultation today.