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Clinical Specialties - Robotic Surgery

Colorectal Robotic Surgeons and Procedures

Colorectal surgeons are doctors who specialise in the medical and surgical treatment of conditions that affect the lower digestive tract (ie the large intestine), as compared to upper GI surgeons that focus more closely on the upper digestive tract.

If medicine or lifestyle changes do not help your colorectal condition, your doctor may suggest surgery, and learning about all your surgical options can help you make the best decision for your situation. Colorectal surgery can be performed using open surgery (through one large incision) or minimally invasive surgery (through a few small incisions). Minimally invasive surgery can be done using traditional laparoscopy or robotic-assisted da Vinci surgery.

Sydney Adventist Hospital offers one of the most affordable robotics programs in the country, as we have negotiated a zero cost on the consumables (disposable surgical attachments) required during da Vinci robotic surgery. Depending on your health fund, this can amount to anything from $1,500 to $3,500 in savings. By eliminating this cost, you can make a decision about what type of surgery is best for you based solely on preference and patient outcomes. Finally…robotic surgery on a level playing field.

Our Colorectal Surgeons

The new da Vinci robotic program on offer at Sydney Adventist Hospital has a growing number of robotically-trained surgeons capable of performing procedures using this approach. The San is very proud of its robotic surgical team, featuring some of the most highly regarded robotic surgeons across a range of specialised fields, all of whom have extensive training on the da Vinci system.

Our robotic colorectal surgeons include:


Colorectal robotic procedures performed at the San

Minimally invasive surgery or keyhole surgery, is a modern surgical technique in which operations are performed through small incisions, using small tubes, tiny cameras and surgical instruments, often made some distance from the their location. Robotic surgery is a form of minimally invasive surgery, and has been gaining favour over traditional open surgery due to the following benefits as detailed in published clinical journals and referenced in attached patient information brochures:

  • Faster patient recovery
  • Less pain
  • Less blood loss and scarring
  • Lower risk of infection

Below is a list of colorectal conditions that can be treated robotically at the San. Click on the link to access more information, including a da Vinci patient information brochure about the various procedures and the risks associated with robotic surgery.

Colorectal Cancer (colon resection, rectal resection and transanal resection)

Colectomy (colon resection) is a surgical procedure to remove all or part of your colon. Your colon, also called your large intestine, is a long tubelike organ at the end of your digestive tract. Colectomy may be necessary to treat or prevent diseases and conditions that affect your colon.

There are various types of colectomy operations:

  • Total colectomy involves removing the entire colon
  • Partial colectomy involves removing part of the colon and may also be called subtotal colectomy
  • Hemicolectomy involves removing the right or left portion of the colon
  • Proctocolectomy involves removing both the colon and rectum

Colectomy surgery usually requires other procedures to reattach the remaining portions of your digestive system and permit waste to leave your body.

Rectal Resection is surgery to remove all or part of the rectum. Rectal resection is performed to remove a segment of the large intestine. The last part of the large intestine (or colon) is known as the rectum. It serves as a holding vault for stools prior to a bowel movement and because it is located deep within the bony pelvis of the body, it is a difficult region to get to surgically. It requires a specialist with extra surgical training for this purpose.

Surgery on the rectum may be required for a variety of reasons including cancer, a large polyp, or an area of inflammation such as inflammatory bowel disease. Additionally, conditions such as rectal prolapse, problems with continence, and other benign diseases may require surgery on the rectum. Rectal procedures may be performed laparoscopically or using minimally invasive techniques, including da Vinci robotic surgery.


Transanal Resection is the removal of small tumours in the lower rectum near the anal opening which have not invaded the layers of the colon and which can be removed with a safety margin of healthy tissue around the tumours.

A transanal resection can be performed by a colorectal surgeon using minimally invasive techniques including the use of robotic surgery using the da Vinci sugical system. 

For more patient information, please click here.

Benign Disease (rectal prolapse, complicated diverticular disease)

Rectopexy is surgery repair for rectal prolapse. Patients with a rectal prolapse have a protrusion (prolapse) of the rectum through the anus. They may also experience symptoms such as a change in bowel habits, rectal bleeding, mucus drainage, anorectal pain, or faecal incontinence. A rectal prolapse is thought to occur due to a loss or weakness of the normal support structures for the rectum.

During rectopexy, the rectum is restored to its normal position in the pelvis, so that it no longer prolapses (protrudes) through the anus.

Complicated diverticular disease is defined as diverticulitis with associated abscess, phlegmon, fistula, obstruction, bleeding or perforation. Uncomplicated diverticulitis can often be treated with antibiotics, however, complicated diverticulitis may require intravenous antibiotics, the insertion of a tube to drain an abscess if one has formed or possibly surgery if you have a complication, such as a perforation, abscess, fistula or bowel obstruction.  Surgery could be performed robotically using minimally invasive technques and the da Vinci surgical system.

For further patient information on da Vinci robotic surgery, please click here.

Complex Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a chronic condition affecting the bowels. It can be extremely painful and debilitating, and is not yet well understood. There are a number of signs and symptoms, including severe abdominal cramping and pain, fatigue, and the sudden, uncontrollable urge for bowel movements.

If you have been diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, you should consider all your treatment options and work with your doctor to identify the best treatment option for you. The da Vinci surgical system is one of the advanced, minimally invasive treatment options now provided by Sydney Adventist Hospital. Our top robotic colorectal surgeons are highly trained specialists in the use of the da Vinci robot for Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

For further information on the da Vinci system and its treatment for colorectal conditions, please click here.

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Sydney Adventist Hospital Clinical Specialties and Services