Expert scatters the common myths of colorectal cancer surgery

Atif Iqbal, M.D. (320x240)
Atif Iqbal, M.D.

A lot of permanent ostomy and long healing are often associated with colorectal cancer surgery, but according to a Baylor College of Medicine surgeon, advances in the field mean these concerns could be a thing of the past.

Dr. Atif Iqbal, head of colorectal surgery in the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery to Baylor, it dispels some common myths and explains how Baylor's multidisciplinary approach in treating these cancers improves patient outcomes.

Myth: You will have a bag for permanent colostomy after colorectal cancer surgery.

Fact: While some surgeons treat colorectal cancer, particularly rectal cancer, using a procedure that results in a permanent colostomy pouch, restorative colorectal surgeons are more specialized. I can reconnect the intestine with the anus using specialized techniques instead of creating a bag for permanent colostomy.

"The data suggest that the patients of surgeons who perform multiple surgical operations leading to a permanent colostomy have a long hospital stay, a greater chance of cancer and a greater chance of death," said Iqbal, who is also a member of Comprehensive cancer center Dan L Duncan appointed by the NCI to Baylor.

According to Iqbal, who works in Baylor St. Luke Medical Center, there are also data that suggest that a patient with colorectal cancer, operated by a colorectal specialist, has a lower risk of mortality and cancer return.

Myth: Recovery from colorectal cancer surgery requires a long hospital stay.

Reality: recovery has changed a lot thanks to the Enhanced Recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols, which are based on a medicine based on evidence to direct the care and recovery of patients after surgery. While patients remained in the hospital for 7-12 days after a major abdominal surgery, the length of stay was significantly reduced, usually between one and three days.

"The advanced recovery after the surgical protocol starts even before the patient arrives at the hospital. In fact, it starts a couple of weeks before surgery and goes through their postoperative recovery," Iqbal said.

Previously, patients were told not to eat or drink from midnight on the day of the surgery, although their case was later in the day. Since this can cause dehydration and low sugar levels before they enter the operating room, patients are now told to continue their liquid diet for up to three hours before surgery. Furthermore, patients can follow a liquid diet immediately after their intervention and can follow a regular diet the next morning. Most patients are also able to avoid the tubes in the nose / mouth or drainage after surgery.

Another change in recovery is that patients do not have to wait for their bowel to start functioning before they are able to eat or before they can be discharged from the hospital.

"We found that the quicker we feed them, the better the patients are because part of the nutrition for the intestine comes from the food inside the intestine, so if you're not feeding the intestine, you're practically starving himself, "Iqbal said.

Myth: Postoperative pain control will require narcotics.

Reality: the opioid addiction crisis throughout the country can make many people hesitant to use narcotics to control their pain, but Iqbal said that many surgeons are now giving a combination of several non-narcotic mediations to provide the pain control in both the postoperative and outpatient settings.

"Most of our patients no longer need narcotics after surgery, while they continue to have adequate pain control," Iqbal said.

/ Public release. View in full Here.

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