HOUSTON, TX -- (Marketwire) -- 11/01/12 -- According to a recent study from the University of California, Irvine Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery, there has been a 43% total increase in both elective and urgent surgical procedures to treat diverticulitis over the past ten years. Affecting as many as 50 percent of patients above the age of 60 and nearly everyone over 80, diverticulitis is a condition in which the diverticula, or pockets along the colon wall, become perforated and cause severe pain and even death.
In the wake of recent developments in robotic colon surgery, Dr. Eric Haas, a colorectal surgeon in Houston of the Colorectal Surgical Associates, recently published an article stating the benefits that robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery has been able to offer patients in need of treatment for complex diverticulitis. Dr. Haas says the innovative technology has opened a number of doors for improving both the safety of the procedure and the quality of the results.
Using enhanced 3D visualization and an advanced robotic console, Dr. Haas says robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery is designed to perform intricately complex procedures without the need for a large, open incision and excessive scarring. While traditional techniques required a 10 to 12-inch incision from the chest bone to the belly button, he says surgeons are now able to improve the precision of their movements and reduce the risk of infection using several half-inch ports and highly-specialized instruments. When performing robotic colon surgery to treat diverticulitis in particular, Dr. Haas says the main benefit is its ability to provide a safe and effective surgical platform, even when the tissue is severely inflamed and swollen.
"In patients with diverticulitis, robotic surgery allows the successful removal of the diseased portion of the colon while providing minimal injury to the healthy portions of the bowel and other organs that lie in close proximity," says Dr. Haas. "The visual benefits of robotic surgery help to avoid injury to such organs, resulting in less postoperative complications."
By minimizing the tissue area affected, Dr. Haas says robotic surgery offers him the opportunity to ensure his patients have safest and swiftest recovery possible. He says the actual surgery itself requires him to isolate the diseased colon and remove it, a task he says is greatly aided by the advanced robotic technology.
As awareness about robotic-assisted laparoscopic techniques continue to grow, Dr. Haas says he encourages his Houston colon surgery patients to make sure they consult with a board-certified, experienced surgeon before undergoing any treatment. He adds that while advanced technology can provide more people safe and effective relief from their colon woes, proper research and a dedicated practice are still essential tools required for a successful outcome.
"We think of robotic surgery as an enabling technique that has several benefits over open surgery," he says. "Hence, we offer this type of procedure to those patients who require an advance procedure due to the complexity of the disease. As in most cases, however, the more appropriate type of surgery for each patient is determined in a case-by-case basis, weighing risks and benefits, and after a thorough discussion with patients and family."
About Eric Haas, MD, FACS, FASCRS
Dr. Eric Haas earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, after which he completed a General Surgery Residency at St. Joseph Medical Center and a Fellowship Training in Colon and Rectal Surgery at The Methodist Hospital and the University of Texas affiliated hospitals. He is board-certified by both the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery, in addition to being a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Haas is currently the Director of Laparoscopic Colon and Rectal Surgery for the Methodist/St. Joseph Hospital and a national preceptor and adviser for minimally invasive laparoscopic colon surgery for the Ethicon-Endo Surgery Institute and Karl Storz Endoscopy America.
The Colorectal Surgical Associates has several locations throughout the Houston, TX area and can be contacted at (713) 790-0600. It can also be contacted online via the websites houstoncolon.com, drerichaas.com, pelvichealthcenter.com, or facebook.com/houstoncolon.
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