Bowel extracted through the rectum

Mr Ong Teck Huat, 52, had his entire colon removed because he was at high risk of developing colon cancer.
PHOTO: Bowel extracted through the rectum

SINGAPORE - At least two patients here have had their colons removed in a laparoscopic procedure that extracted the bowel through the rectum.

One of them, Mr Ong Teck Huat, 52, an engineer, had multiple non-cancerous polyps in different parts of his large intestine.

It was not possible to remove all of them during a colonoscopy, during which a doctor examines the large intestine using a flexible tube with a small camera inserted through the anus.

But as he was at high risk of developing colon cancer, doctors advised him to undergo a colectomy, which is the removal of the entire colon.

He was a suitable candidate to have this done through the rectum, using a technique called natural orifice specimen extraction (Nose).

Dr Teoh Tiong Ann and Dr Ooi Boon Swee, both consultant colorectal surgeons at Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre, performed the operation.

His wife told Mind Your Body that he could walk on the second day after his surgery and needed to take very few painkillers.

The other patient was a 65-year-old retiree, Mr Yeo, who declined to give his full name.

He had constant bleeding from diverticula, which are out-pouchings of the inner lining of the large intestine.

In October last year, he had to be admitted to hospital, but doctors could not stem the bleeding, even after three days.

By then, he had to have four to five units of blood transfusion.

As a last resort, his entire colon had to be removed.

Like Mr Ong, he also recovered quickly.

Mr Yeo said: "My recovery was very fast. I just had four small holes on my abdomen for the laparoscopic instruments. I felt no pain after the surgery."

Dr Teoh said: "While not for every patient, we believe that Nose can be performed on highly selected patients with good benefits."


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