Colon and Rectal Surgery

At Foothill Surgical Associates we perform a wide variety of treatment options for various colorectal conditions. Most of the procedures are performed via minimally invasive techinques utilizing laparoscopy or the da Vinci robot.
The surgery is very safe and nationally the complication rate is less than 2%. We perform the majority of these surgeries using minimally invasive techniques.

Procedures we perform:

  • Surgery for Diverticulitis and Diverticulosis
  • Surgery for Colon Cancer
  • Pilonidal Cyst Surgery
  • Hemorrhoidectomy

Colon Cancer

Colon cancer is the most common type of gastrointestinal cancer. Overall, It is the second most common type of cancer. There are a wide variety of causes of colon cancer but sporadic (with no family history) colon cancer remains the most common reason. Colon cancer happens due to new genetic defects of normal cells.

Prevention is the best way and following the national guidelines for cancer screening is the recommendation. In those with normal family history, it’s best to start screening at the age of 45 with a colonoscopy (other options for screening exist also). If someone in your family has been diagnosed with colon cancer, it is important to start screening 10 years earlier than the age they were diagnosed with the cancer. The cancer starts as an abnormal colon polyp that slowly progresses into cancer over several years. Colon screening helps catch these polyps early so that they can be removed.
Colon cancer is typically silent and therefore adequate screening is important in catching polyps or cancer early.
Important risk factors for colon cancer include:
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Low fiber and water diet
  • African American lineage
  • Diet high in processed foods and red meat
  • History of polyps
  • Family history of colon cancer
  • Cancers of other organs that can be part of a disease syndrome
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's or Ulcerative Colitis

How is colon cancer and rectal cancer treated?

There have been significant advances made in the treatment of both colon and rectal cancer. It is important to note that colon cancer and rectal cancer can be treated very differently from one another. Your treatment plan will include a complete evaluation of all of your laboratory values, imaging, and colonoscopy, and pathology. Together these diagnostic tests will help provide a complete picture to help guide the treatment plan. If surgery is an option at presentation, it will be performed using the most appropriate minimally invasive method. Many patients are candidates for advanced laparoscopy or robotic surgery. Examples of what part of the colon is removed based on the location of tumor along with examples of how the intestines are re-attached.

Colon Cancer Drawing

Examples of intestinal reattachment

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Once you have had a conversation about surgery and had all of your questions answered, these are the main steps to follow for surgery:
  • Discuss all of your medications with the doctor at your visit.
  • Register for your surgery at the hospital
  • Do not eat anything for 8 hours before surgery.
  • You will be given an instruction sheet about medications that you can and cannot take before surgery. If you are allowed to take medications, you can take them at your regular time with a very small amount of water.
  • Make sure you arrive two hours before your surgery time.
  • Make sure you have someone to take you home after surgery.

The vast majority of the patients will have this surgery as an outpatient and will go home the same day. You will need to be on a light diet that is low in fat and cholesterol for about 2 days after surgery so that you can recover from the anesthesia. We recommend a diet low in fat and cholesterol always but try to follow this for about 4 weeks after surgery to help the recovery process. Typically, after recovery there are no dietary restrictions.

The pain from surgery will slowly subside over a few weeks and you will be able to return to your daily activities. Return to work and regular activities is dependent on each patient. For a full list of discharge instructions from this surgery please refer to our discharge instructions.

Contact us at 909-398-4895 to make an appointment to visit us and discuss your treatment plan.