When colon surgery is more complex…

Conditions affecting the colon and rectum can be complicated to treat. Whether your needs are simple or more complex, you deserve Connecticut’s most experienced colorectal surgeons to help you get better.

To connect with a colon & rectal surgery specialist, call

860.545.1888

HH_SurgeryImg_Colon_Surgeons banner.jpgWhen other hospitals need help with the most complex colorectal procedures, they call us. We are experts in cutting-edge treatment techniques and recognized around the country for our expertise. In fact, Healthgrades America has made us a Five-Star Recipient for Colorectal Surgeries four years in a row.

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What makes us different?

We approach your care as a team, putting the unique skills of surgeons, specialists, nurses and support staff to work for you. We tailor treatment to your specific needs and always deliver safe, effective and high-quality care.

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Conditions

Conditions affecting the colon and rectum can be complicated to treat. Whether your needs are simple or more complex, you deserve Connecticut’s most experienced colorectal surgeons to help you get better.

Colon Conditions

Treatments

The vast majority of colon and intestinal surgeries are minimally invasive using laparoscopic techniques. This means a few small incisions are made where instruments are inserted rather than a large, open incision.

Colon Treatments

Conditions

Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in both men and women, affecting approximately 1 in 20 Americans. Colon cancer is often asymptomatic and detected at routine screening colonoscopy. Symptoms may include rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, weight loss and change in character of bowel movements.  The risk of colorectal cancer increases with age. Other risk factors include a history of colon polyps, family history of colon cancer, personal history of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis for more than 8 years, personal history of breast/uterine/ovarian cancer.  Colon cancer is preventable with regular screening colonoscopies, which start at age 50 in an average risk patient.

Polyps

Polyps are growths in the colon or rectum. Most cause no symptoms and are found at the time of routine screening colonoscopy.  Some have the potential to turn into a colon cancer; therefore, removal of the polyp at the time of colonoscopy can help prevent a cancer from developing.

Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis happens when pouches called diverticula form in the wall of the colon and get inflamed or infected. Diverticulitis most commonly occurs in the sigmoid colon, resulting in left lower abdominal pain.  Other symptoms include fever, chills, nausea and vomiting.  Diverticulitis is often able to be treated with antibiotics, but can require emergency surgery.  If someone has repeated episodes of diverticulitis, surgery can be considered to remove that segment of the colon to help prevent future attacks.

Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease

The most common types of inflammatory bowel disease. Ulcerative colitis affects only the colon and rectum. Crohn's can affect any part of the digestive tract.

  • Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory condition that affects the inner lining of the colon and rectum. The disease can affect anyone, but most people who have it are diagnosed before they turn 30 years old. The main symptoms are abdominal pain and cramping, diarrhea, blood in the stool, weight loss and fatigue.  Medical management is the initial treatment of choice, but surgery can be curative.
  • Crohn's disease is an inflammatory condition that can occur anywhere along the length of the entire intestinal system. The main symptoms of Crohn's disease are abdominal pain and cramping, diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue, anal abscess or fistula.  Medical management is the initial treatment of choice; however, surgery plays an important role when symptoms are no longer able to be controlled with medications.

Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in and around the anus. This common problem can be painful and cause bleeding, but it's usually not serious. Veins can swell inside the anal canal to form internal hemorrhoids which commonly cause painless bleeding. They can also occur at the opening of the anus to form external hemorrhoids which commonly cause swelling and pain. You can have both types at the same time. The symptoms and treatment depend on which type you have.

Anal Abscess and Fistula

Anal abscess and fistula is a painful infection that can occur around the anus, characterized by swelling, redness and fever.  A fistula can form after the presence of an abscess.  Abscesses often need to be treated with a minor procedure called an incision and drainage.

Anal Fissures

Anal fissures are tears in the skin overlying the anus that cause severe pain during bowel movements. While most anal fissures heal with medical treatment after a few days or weeks, chronic fissures lasting more than eight to 12 weeks may need surgery.  The main risk factor for developing a fissure is constipation.

Pilonidal Cysts

Pilonidal cysts are a chronic skin infection where one or more cysts form in the crease between the buttocks. These cysts may look like small dimples and have a tendency to get inflamed and infected. Pilonidal cysts can be present at birth or form when a hair follicle in the skin becomes irritated or stretched, or a loose hair gets trapped in the crease between the buttocks. Although pilonidal disease often has no symptoms, you may notice redness or swelling, pain when you walk or sit, or draining of pus or blood from the abscess if a cyst gets infected.

Fistulas 

Abnormal openings between two organs or parts of the body that are not normally connected, such as between two parts of the intestine. A fistula may be present at birth or may develop as a complication of an infection or a disease, such as Crohn's disease.


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Treatments and Services

Colorectal Surgery

The vast majority of colon and rectal surgeries are minimally invasive using laparoscopic or robotic techniques. This means a few small incisions are made where instruments are inserted rather than a large, open incision.

Resection

Resection is a generic term for removing a segment or all of the colon and/or rectum.  This is done for a variety of different conditions such as colon cancer, rectal cancer, diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease. The goal of a resection is to take out the part of the colon or rectum where the disease is located and then put the ends of the intestine back together.  The majority of colon resections are done in the minimally invasive fashion (either laparoscopically or robotically), with the goal of having smaller incisions, less post-operative pain and a shorter recovery time.

When we are treating a patient for colon or rectal cancer, chemotherapy or radiation therapy may also be used. We work with skilled oncologist and you also benefit from the latest treatment protocols of our partner institution, Memorial Sloan Kettering - the country’s premier cancer center. This means you have direct access to world-renowned clinical expertise and research trials - all while being treated close to home.

Sphicter-sparing Surgery for Rectal Cancer

Cancers located in the mid to low rectum can be challenging to treat.  We are experienced in sphincter-sparing surgery, which allows for the cancer to be removed and the two ends of intestine re-connected, with the goal of avoiding a permanent colostomy.

Total Proctocolectomy with Ileoanal Pouch (“J pouch”) Creation

This surgery is performed for ulcerative colitis. It removes the entire colon and rectum and the small bowel is used to create a “new rectum” or J-pouch, which is attached to the anus.  A temporary ileostomy is usually required.  This procedure is often able to be done laparoscopically and is considered curative for ulcerative colitis.

Ileostomy and Colostomy

Either Ileostomy and colostomy can be required for a variety of conditions.  They can either be temporary or permanent. With both an ileostomy and colostomy, stool empties into a small plastic pouch called an ostomy bag that is applied to the skin around the stoma. We have providers in our office who are specially trained to educate about and manage ostomies.

Hemorrhoid Banding

Hemorrhoids can be treated with hemorrhoid banding (internal hemorrhoids only), which is a well-tolerated office procedure. External and internal hemorrhoids can be treated with a hemorrhoidectomy, a surgical procedure performed in the operating room under either sedation or general anesthesia.

Lateral Internal Sphincterotomy

Lateral internal sphincterotomy is used to treat anal fissures. In this procedure, a portion of the internal sphincter muscle is cut to relax the spasm that is causing the fissure.

Colostomy

May be needed if you have complex needs or multiple surgeries. A colostomy is a surgical procedure in which the upper part of the intestine is sewn to an opening made in the skin of the abdomen. Stool passes out of the body at this opening and into a disposable bag. Usually the colostomy is removed at a later time and the intestine is reconnected.

Strictureplasty

Strictureplasty is a less common surgical procedure to treat strictures resultant from Crohn's disease. Strictureplasty is used to relieve narrowing or obstruction of the intestine and to save as much of the intestine as possible.

Proctocolectomy and Ileostomy

Used to treat Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. In proctocolectomy, the large intestine and rectum are removed, leaving the lower end of the small intestine. The anus is sewn closed and a small opening, called a stoma, is made in the skin of the lower abdomen. The ileum is connected to the stoma, creating an opening to the outside of the body. The surgery that creates the opening to the intestine is called an ileostomy. Stool empties into a small plastic pouch called an ostomy bag that is applied to the skin around the stoma.

Ileoanal Anastomosis

This surgery is a common procedure for ulcerative colitis. It removes the large intestine and the lining of the rectum, but you can still have nearly normal bowel movements after the surgery. This surgery is usually successful. About 7 or 8 out of 10 people have no problems after surgery. And most people say their quality of life is better.



Meet our Colon Care Specialists:

Name Specialties Location
Cohen, Jeffrey Lewis, MD, FACS, FASCRS
860.548.7336
  • Colon & Rectal Surgery
  • General Surgery
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  • Hartford
  • Farmington
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Holder, Jaime, PA-C
860.548.7336
  • Colon & Rectal Surgery
  • Hartford
  • Farmington
  • Glastonbury
  • Manchester
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Johnson, Kristina Hope, MD, FACS, FASCRS
860.548.7336
  • Colon & Rectal Surgery
  • General Surgery
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  • Hartford
  • Farmington
  • Glastonbury
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Sardella, William Vincent, MD
860.548.7336
  • Colon & Rectal Surgery
  • General Surgery
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  • Hartford
  • Glastonbury
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Stoddard, Ann Lindahl, APRN
860.548.7336
  • Colon & Rectal Surgery
  • Hartford
  • Farmington
  • Glastonbury
  • Manchester
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Thurston, Kristy Tyler, MD
860.548.7336
  • Colon & Rectal Surgery
  • General Surgery
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  • Hartford
  • Manchester
  • Manchester
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Vignati, Paul Vincent, MD
860.548.7336
  • Colon & Rectal Surgery
  • General Surgery
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  • Hartford