March 23, 2009

Minimally invasive polyp removal possible

Minimally invasive colonoscopy with laparoscopy can sometimes replace surgery, a U.S. doctor says.

Dr. Eric Esrailian of the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, removes some of the larger or harder-to-reach polyps that normally require surgery using a combination of colonoscopy with laparoscopy.

This combined procedure may be used with patients diagnosed with polyps that are difficult to remove, polyps that are flattened against the colon wall or in hard-to-reach places, Esrailian says in a statement.

Esrailian says this technique takes place in an operating room. Esrailian says he performs a colonoscopy to remove the large or difficult-to-reach polyp, while another surgeon watches the outside of the colon via a tiny laparoscopic camera placed inside the body through three tiny incisions on the outside of the abdomen.

The surgeon watching is ready to address any problems such as bleeding or perforation of the colon -- a risk when removing polyps of certain size or position, Esrailian says.