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New alternative to surgery lets doctors remove suspicious polyps, keep colon intact
Date:6/17/2013

Millions of people each year have polyps successfully removed during colonoscopies. But when a suspicious polyp is bigger than a marble or in a hard-to-reach location, patients are referred for surgery to remove a portion of their colon even if doctors aren't sure whether the polyp is cancerous or not.

Since only 15 percent of all polyps turn out to be malignant, many patients are unnecessarily subjected to the risks of this major surgery. Now there is an alternative.

A UCLA team of surgeons and gastroenterologists has been performing a new, minimally invasive procedure to remove large and hard-to-reach polyps while keeping the colon intact. The procedure, which combines two minimally invasive techniques, has currently been performed at only a handful of medical centers in the United States.

In the June issue of the journal Surgical Endoscopy, the UCLA researchers present their experiences using the new technique known as CELS, for combination endoscopy and laparoscopy surgery and offer the first comparison of the new technique and standard surgery.

"The CELS approach combines the best of minimally invasive techniques and may prove to be a viable option for select patients," said senior author Dr. James Yoo, an assistant professor of surgery and chief of the colon and rectal surgery program for the UCLA Health System and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

For the study, the team compared outcomes for five patients who underwent the new procedure with outcomes for nine patients who received standard surgery to remove suspicious polyps between August 2008 and October 2012.

The new technique starts out like a colonoscopy, with a gastroenterologist advancing an endoscope inside the colon. The endoscope, a device with a small video camera and a light attached, lets doctors look inside the body cavity. Once a polyp is in sight and the gastroenterologist is r
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Contact: Rachel Champeau
rchampeau@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-2270
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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