On the Cutting Edge


Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) Program

Colon Rectal Specialists has been leaders in the area in regards to implementing an enhanced recovery program for their patients.

Historically, patients have been ill informed about their surgery and what to expect. In addition, surgical care was fragmented into several phases of care that did not communicate with each other (preoperative care, surgical care, anesthesia care, postoperative hospital care, and postoperative home care). The surgeons at Colon Rectal Specialists have been leaders in creating a program that integrates all phases of care. Through an enhanced recovery program, the patients are empowered to take control of their care. Information regarding smoking cessation and the benefits of exercise prior to surgery are provided as well as helpful tools to achieve those goals. Patients are also given healthy expectation of what to expect during and after their hospitalization. Along with nurses, therapists, anesthesiologists, care is provided in a coordinated manner to ensure minimal narcotic medication use and a healthy recovery for the patient. Throughout the world, programs such as this has proven to show reduced complications after surgery, shorter hospitalizations, quicker return from surgery, reduced readmissions to the hospital, and overall better patient satisfaction which is the ultimate goal at Colon Rectal Specialists. When scheduling your surgery, please ask your surgeon about the ERAS program.

Dr. Kenneth Bark with Patient

Laparoscopic surgery & you

All of the doctors at CRS perform laparoscopic surgery and we offer it as the preferred option to all of our patients who need surgery for diverticulitis and inflammatory bowel disease, as well as select patients with colon cancer. Currently, the majority of our colon surgeries are performed using the laparoscopic technique.

Minimally Invasive Surgery

Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) is an advanced technique of surgery that uses a series of small incisions that allows the surgeon to perform surgery through small channels called ports. It allows the surgeon to look inside of a person through a fiber optic camera and perform the necessary surgery without having to create a large incision. The obvious benefits of minimally invasive surgery is smaller incisions, less pain, shorter hospital stays, a quicker return to normal activities, and decreased costs.   Despite the obvious benefits, MIS is technically challenging and so recent data shows that less only than 40% of colorectal surgery is being performed via a minimally invasive technique. Colon Rectal Specialists has been early adopters in these techniques for the sake of their patients and has been performing minimally invasive colon surgery for more than 20 years. If in need of colorectal surgery, please consult with one of our board certified surgeons about laparoscopic minimally invasive surgery.

Laparoscopic surgery cannot be performed by every surgeon – even surgeons who are highly skilled in conventional surgical techniques. It requires extensive training and a dedicated team.

Robotic Colon and Rectal Surgery

The newest form of minimally invasive surgery these days is robotic surgery. Though it is a fairly new platform, the surgeons at Colon Rectal Surgery have more than 5 years of experience providing surgery with some of the newest and greatest technology available. The beauty of robotic surgery is that it has allowed us to perform surgeries in a minimally invasive way that may not have been feasible before. The robotic platform provides the surgeon with better visualization during surgery, more flexible wristed movement of instruments for better control, and the ability to access very difficult areas for delicate surgery. Please contact us to see if robotic colon and rectal surgery would be of benefit to you.

Sacral Nerve Stimulation for Fecal Incontinence

As many as 18 million Americans (about 1 in 12) are affected by fecal or bowel incontinence. Symptoms can be varied resulting in stool urgency, lack of sensation, anal leakage, staining of underwear and a full loss of control leading to the need for adult diapers. It is often an embarrassing topic for patients to mention to friends, family members, and even to their own doctors so it tends to go undiagnosed for many years. There have been many therapies over the years. Sometimes dietary therapy and physical therapy to help build pelvic floor muscles is all that is needed but often that is not enough. Colon Rectal Specialists now offers a new and exciting therapy called sacral nerve neuromodulation, delivered by InterStim® Therapy, to manage chronic bowel incontinence. This device consists of a wire and an implantable pacemaker-like device that is placed by the surgeon. The InterStim device delivers tiny electrical pulses to pelvic nerves which help the brain and nerves to communicate so the bowel, pelvic floor, and related muscles can function and interact correctly. Prior to permanent implantation, patients are able to test InterStim Therapy during an evaluation period to see if it works for their symptoms. Please schedule an appointment today to have your fecal incontinence evaluated and to see if InterStim® Therapy is for you.