Colon and Rectal Surgery

Colon and rectal operations are performed for a range of conditions, from simple rectal problems such as hemorrhoids and fissures to more complicated colon and rectal cancers and complex inflammatory bowel disease. 

Categories related to this specialty:

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Symptoms might include bleeding, pain, lumps, itching, or discharge. Some colon and rectal conditions can be uncovered during routine colonoscopies, making screenings important if you are a high-risk adult or over the age of 50 years.

Our Approach

M Health Fairview surgeons are skilled in performing colon and rectal operations. Many anal and rectal disorders can be treated during the course of one visit to our Surgery Clinic. If you have a more complex condition, we will assemble a multidisciplinary team to care for you, using the most modern therapies and surgical skills available today. Most of our operations are minimally invasive, providing you with smaller incisions, less pain after surgery, a shorter hospital stay and faster recovery. We specialize in bowel preservation and sphincter-sparing surgery to preserve your natural bowel function.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

We offer highly specialized care when it comes to treating advanced inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. We have dedicated experts who understand the complexities of IBD and work closely with other specialists, including gastroenterologists, to create a personalized treatment plan based on the severity of your disorder. Our goal is to treat your condition without surgery whenever possible.


If you have colon, rectal, or anal cancer, your surgeon will determine the best course of treatment for you. We offer a multidisciplinary approach, involving medical and radiation oncologists, if necessary.

Colon Cancer: Surgery is the primary option for colon cancer, and consists of removing a piece of your colon and reconnecting the two remaining sections. If your cancer is advanced, you may need chemotherapy in addition to surgery. Even if your colon cancer has spread to other organs, you can be treated successfully with our aggressive multidisciplinary approach. If your cancer has spread throughout your abdomen, we use a unique treatment option called hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) to bathe your abdominal cavity with heated chemotherapy to eliminate the majority of microscopic cancer cells that might remain after surgery.

Rectal Cancer: If your diagnosis is rectal cancer, your treatment path will depend on the extent of your cancer. For early stage rectal cancers, we perform local excision (a smaller operation that removes the cancer through the rectum). If your rectal cancer is more advanced, you may need radiation and/or chemotherapy, followed by surgery. Some patients experience a complete response to the radiation or chemotherapy and can potentially avoid surgery, but they will be followed closely to watch for any recurrence.

Anal Cancer: If you have been diagnosed with anal cancer, our surgeons have several options. Small, external anal cancers can often be removed with a local resection. Larger cancers may require radiation and chemotherapy instead.

We specialize in complex colon and rectal operations requiring multiple surgeons for advanced cancers or when multiple organ systems are involved. Your physician will discuss all options with you. We have a high cure rate for colon, rectal, and anal cancers that are caught early, and most patients retain their natural bowel function.

Our physicians are faculty members at the University of Minnesota Medical School and are involved in colorectal cancer research, as well as research involving familial colorectal cancer, pelvic floor disorders, accidental bowel leakage, diverticulitis, colorectal surgery outcomes and health informatics. Ask your surgeon about participating in one of our clinical trials.

Research Interests

Our colon and rectal surgeons perform research in the following areas:
  • Rectal cancer
  • Diverticulitis
  • Minimally invasive colon and rectal surgery
  • Pelvic floor disorders, including ABL (accidental bowel leakage)
  • Colorectal surgery outcomes
  • Familial colorectal cancer
  • Health informatics

Conditions We Treat

Our surgeons perform colon and rectal operations for a number of conditions, including:

  • Abscess
  • Anal Cancer
  • Anal Condylomas - Warts
  • Anal Dysplasia
  • Anal Fissure
  • Anorectal Disorders
  • Appendicitis
  • Appendix Cancer
  • Bowel Obstruction
  • Colon Cancer
  • Colon Polyps Including Familial Polyposis Syndrome
  • Colon Stricture
  • Colon and Rectal Polyps
  • Colostomy
  • Constipation
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Diverticular Disease
  • Diverticulitis
  • Diverticulosis
  • Familial Adenomatous Polyposis
  • Familial Colon and Rectal Cancer Syndromes
  • Fecal Incontinence (Encopresis)
  • Fissures
  • Fistula, Intestinal
  • Fistulas
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Ileostomy
  • Incontinence
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis)
  • Pilonidal Disease
  • Pouchitis
  • Rectal Cancer
  • Rectal Polyps Including Familial Polyposis Syndrome
  • Rectal Prolapse
  • Ulcerative Colitis

Treatments, Tests, and Procedures

Sacral Neuromodulation

This treatment is delivered via the InterStim system, which is a small implantable device that sends electrical pulses to an area near the sacral nerve to modulate the neural activity that influences the behavior of the pelvic floor, urinary and anal sphincters, and colon.
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A colonoscopy is a potentially life-saving examination of the entire lower digestive system the colon and rectum. It is performed by a gastroenterologist using a long, thin, flexible tube called a colonoscope that has a camera on the end.
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A colonoscopy is an examination of your child’s entire lower digestive system (the colon and rectum) to diagnose and treat disease. It is performed by a pediatric gastroenterologist using a long, thin, flexible tube with a camera on the end called a colonoscope.
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Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC)

Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) is a highly concentrated chemotherapy that is directly administered into the abdominal cavity during the cytoreductive surgery procedure to prevent the cancer from coming back.
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A lesionectomy is a common surgical procedure to remove a lesion, or abnormality, in the brain. Lesions may include congenital malformations, tumors, brain injuries, stroke or other conditions that cause epilepsy and seizure disorders.
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There may be other treatments, test, and procedures for this diagnosis, including:

  • Abdominoperineal Resection
  • Colonoscopic Removal of Polyps
  • Colon Resection (Right Colectomy, Left Colectomy, Sigmoid Colectomy)
  • Colostomy Reversal
  • Perineal Rectosigmoidectomy (Altmeier Procedure)
  • Pelvic Exenteration
  • Rectal Cancer Operations
  • Rectopexy
  • Subtotal Colectomy with Ileorectal Anastomosis
  • Ileocolic Resection for Crohn's
  • Ileoanal J Pouch ("IPAA" or Parks Procedure)
  • High Resolution Anoscopy, Anal Microscopy
  • Transanal Excision of Rectal Tumor (TAMIS)
  • Low Anterior Resection with Colon to Rectal or Colon to Anus Connection
  • Laparoscopic and Robotic Colon Resection
  • Botox
  • Fistulotomy
  • Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
  • Hemorrhoid Banding, Hemorrhoidectomy
  • Parastomal Hernia Repair
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