surgery-688380_1280 (1)According to the National Cancer Institute, colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer in men and women in the United States. Deaths from colorectal cancer have decreased with the use of colonoscopies and fecal occult blood tests, which check for blood in the stool. If you’ve been diagnosed with colon cancer, the physicians of Premier Surgical Associates of Knoxville know that providing you with information about what to expect may ease your mind. Here are five tips to consider.

  1. Discuss all treatment options.

Each patient is unique and so each treatment plan will be customized with the specific considerations of his or her diagnosis and overall health. Colon cancer may be treated with surgery alone or with a combination of other treatments. Chemotherapy may be recommended after surgery.

  1. Know the goal of surgery.

The primary goal of any oncology surgical procedure is to completely remove the cancer. In addition, the functional outcomes of the colon and rectum are a part of the consideration process in determining the surgical approach. Premier Surgical Associates’ surgeons use  sphincter preservation techniques to ensure anal continence post- surgery.

  1. Know the different types of cancer surgery.

The type of surgery required depends on the stage and location of the abnormal growth. A  colon or rectal polypectomy is a procedure in which a microscopic scissor-like wire loop is used to remove small polyps through a long tube inserted through the rectum. A colectomy involves the actual removal of the area of the colon which contains the cancer. The surgeon will likely also remove healthy surrounding tissue to ensure a good margin of error and possibly associated lymph nodes as well. Two healthy sections of the colon are then rejoined to complete the procedure.

  1. Find out if Laparoscopic Colon Resection is an option.

With advancements in healthcare and technology, many common colon procedures are now done laparscopically through small incisions. In most cases only 4 or 5 small openings are required to insertion tiny cannulas, or hollow tubes. The laparoscope, which is essentially a tiny camera, is then inserted through these tubes as well as the tools needed to remove the cancerous portion of the colon. The laparoscopic approach to surgery tends to result in less pain and faster recovery than a more invasive surgery.

  1. Make a plan for recovery time.

Your surgeon will offer specific instructions for recovery following your procedure, but there are a few general expectations. For a traditional open colon surgery, which is more invasive, patients can expect to have a single long abdominal incision with a hospital recovery time of approximately a week. An additional six weeks of recovery may be required at home before resuming normal daily activities. For less invasive procedures, patients may be encouraged to begin walking the day after surgery and should be able to resume normal activities in one to two weeks. Your care team will offer detailed instructions for recovery. Make sure to schedule  and keep any follow up appointments.

Premier Surgical Associates in Knoxville strives to work cooperatively with your entire care team to ensure the most effective treatment allowing you the best possible outcomes and quality of life. To learn more about the board certified physicians of Premier Surgical Associates visit our website  at