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Colorectal Surgery – Patient Care and Treatment

Colorectal Surgery – Patient Care and Treatment

Penn State Colorectal Surgery’s team will take the time to help you and your family understand the complexities of your illness. We provide hope for a full, rewarding life after treatment - regardless of your diagnosis. 

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Penn State Colon and Rectal Surgery consists of highly skilled, board-certified surgeons specializing in the treatment of patients with complicated colorectal disease.

Each surgeon uses advanced diagnostic capabilities, the latest drug therapies, and leading-edge surgical techniques to provide you with the most effective medical care possible.

We collaborate with other specialists, including gastroenterologists, stoma nurses, nutritionists, and geneticists, to provide comprehensive care under one roof.

IBD Center

The IBD Center, staffed by our colorectal surgeons working side-by-side with our IBD expert gastroenterologists, provides the most advanced treatment options available for Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and other related conditions.

Colon and rectal cancer is the third most common cancer in both men and women in the United States, and the second leading cancer killer in men and women. More than 140,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.

Early screening, advances in chemotherapy and radiation, and surgeries that can preserve the muscles of continence have improved the quality of life for patients with colorectal cancer.

Our board-certified physicians have been providing treatment to colorectal cancer patients since 1990. We offer multidisciplinary care (surgery, oncology, radiation therapy) for colorectal cancer under one roof.

Our specialized approach includes:

  • Sphincter saving surgery: Our unique surgical techniques and multidisciplinary approach help many patients with low-lying rectal cancer avoid a permanent colostomy (or “bag”).
  • Minimally invasive surgery: Our surgeons - the most experienced in the region—routinely perform single-site laparoscopy. Minimally invasive surgery helps decrease length of stay, minimize the size of the incision, and promote a quicker recovery.
  • Genetic counseling and testing: Approximately 30 percent of colorectal cancer is hereditary. The Medical Center offers genetic counseling and testing to help you identify cancer risk to you and your family.

Penn State Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center is committed to the diagnosis, treatment, and eventual cure of patients with inflammatory bowel diseases, including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

Our unique capabilities include:

  • Offering central Pennsylvania’s most extensive experience in the ileal pouch anal anastomosis  (IPAA), an operation which enables patients to avoid an ileostomy, resulting in a high level of patient satisfaction (9.1 on a 10 point scale)
  • Minimally invasive surgery to minimize pain and shorten recovery time.
  • Leading-edge drug therapies through our participation in national clinical research trials.
  • Maintaining an inflammatory bowel disease registry that provides for surveillance and entry into experimental treatment protocols
  • Patient education and support groups for affected individuals with IBD and their families

Learn more about the Penn State IBD Center.

We treat a broad range of anal and rectal disease, including pelvic floor dysfunction, rectal prolapse, hemorrhoids, abscess, fistula, and incontinence.

Our advanced diagnosis and treatment includes:

  • The use of intrarectal ultrasound, anorectal manometry, defecography, and electromyography to accurately diagnose the problem
  • State-of-the-art care, including artificial sphincter implantation, minimally invasive surgery for rectal prolapse, and outpatient techniques
  • Collaboration with other specialists, such as those in urology and gynecology, to provide comprehensive care

Diverticulitis refers to the inflammation or infection of small sacs that form on the inner wall of the intestine. No one knows exactly what causes the pouches to form, but eating a low-fiber diet of processed foods may contribute to the condition.

At Penn State Health, most surgery for diverticulitis is performed laparoscopically to promote your early discharge and rapid return to work.

We’re the only program in the country studying the genetic basis for diverticulitis.

Surgical Supersuite®

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center surgical super suite in the operating roomFrom voice-activated equipment and flat-screen video monitors, to ergonomic furnishings and ceiling suspended booms and consoles, the new colorectal/laparoscopic surgical SUPERSUITE® at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is the operating suite of the future. The innovative amenities are designed so no action by the surgeon is wasted, and bring added benefit for patients, referring physicians, and students at Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State University, University Park.

The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center's surgical SUPERSUITE® enables surgeons to perform procedures more safely and efficiently by integrating radiographic imaging, robotics, modern ergonomics and precision instrumentation into a complete system.

Sharing the Knowledge

Immediately outside of the SUPERSUITE®, an observation room is available for referring physicians to view the procedures as they are occurring. Video conferencing is available both on the Medical Center campus and off-campus. In addition, the video system can record cases for future study. Photos from the surgery can be emailed to referring physicians directly from the SUPERSUITE®.

One of a Kind

The surgical SUPERSUITE® is the only one of its kind in the country that allows videoconferencing for multiple-site surgery-operating on two parts of the body at one time, such as abdominal and perineal surgery or abdominal and colonoscopic surgery. This makes for a much more efficient surgical process.

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