Rectal Cancer Surgery

Surgical Associates of Marshall County provides treatment for rectal cancer in Guntersville and Albertville with minimally invasive surgery.

Minimally invasive rectal cancer surgery is the primary form of treatment for all stages of rectal cancer, followed by chemotherapy and radiation. At Surgical Associates of Marshall County, we offer surgical options that can successfully remove rectal cancer and serve as effective forms of treatment.

The type of surgery used will depend largely on the location and extent of rectal cancer. The most standard forms of surgical treatment for rectal cancer are:

  • Polypectomy. Colorectal cancers are often found in small, abnormal growths along the bowel wall called polyps. When rectal cancer is found in polyps, these growths can be removed, often during a colonoscopy. This can typically be performed as an outpatient procedure.
  • Local excision. When cancer is found only on the surface of the rectum without spreading deep into the rectal wall it can be removed along with some of the healthy tissue that surrounds it. Local excision for rectal cancer is typically performed through the anus or a small cut in the rectum and does not necessitate a major abdominal operation.
  • Resection. After cancer spreads into the rectal wall, removal of that section of the rectum may be necessary. During resection, the cancer and its attached tissues will be removed, as may the tissue between the abdominal wall and rectum. In some cases, removal of the entirety of the colon and rectum is necessary.

We perform all surgical procedures for rectal cancer with laparoscopic techniques, which allow the entire operation to be completed through small incisions using specialized instruments. Unlike traditional open surgery, laparoscopic rectal cancer surgery requires no major abdominal incisions and can return patients to their normal lives with reduced downtime and post-operative discomfort.

After Rectal Cancer Surgery

Once the cancer has been removed by excision or resection, your surgeon may also perform one of the following procedures:

  • Anastomosis. Your surgeon will rejoin the healthy parts of the rectum, join the remaining segment of the rectum to the colon or, if the rectum is completely removed, join the colon to the anus.
  • Colostomy. If the cancer is too close to the anus, your surgeon will make an opening known as a stoma between the rectum and outside of the body. This allows waste to pass out of the rectum and be collected by a bag placed around the stoma. Colostomy is often permanent when the whole rectum is removed, but may be reversed in some cases after the rectum has healed.

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may also be recommended during treatment. Before rectal cancer surgery, these therapies can shrink the cancer and make it easier to remove. After surgery, these therapies can help to eliminate remaining cancer cells and prevent rectal cancer from coming back.

To learn more about rectal cancer surgery provided at Surgical Associates of Marshall County, please call 256-840-5547 (Albertville) or 256-571-8734 (Guntersville) or complete our online contact form.