A new incision-free colorectal cancer procedure is promising less pain and a speedy recovering time for a select group of patients. The Transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM) is the first clinically proven surgery in which a natural body opening, in this case the anus, is used as the surgical point of entry. The surgery, performed by Michael Hellinger, M.D., Colorectal Surgeon at Mercy Hospital, is only for patients who are in the early stages of rectal cancer. It is also used to eradicate polyps that cannot be removed with a colonoscope.
Traditionally, colorectal surgery is performed through a 6-inch incision in the abdomen and it requires a seven-to-10-day hospital stay, a long recovery at home, and may sometimes require a temporary colostomy bag. With the TEM, patients report feeling little to no pain and get discharged from the hospital a day after the procedure.
For more information about TEM or for a physician referral, please call (305) 285-2929.