Global Health Asia-Pacific Special Issue | Page 28


Maximum precision for minimal post-surgical pain

DR DEAN KOH Dr Dean Koh is a general and colorectal surgeon practising at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital and Parkway East Hospital , Singapore . Dr Koh provides specialised care in the treatment of colon and anorectal cancers , inflammatory bowel disease as well as benign colon and anorectal disorders .
Colorectal cancer is currently the third most common cancer globally . According to World Cancer Research Fund International , over 1.9 million cases of colorectal cancer were recorded in 2020 , with up to 600,000 deaths annually . While studies show that early screening can reduce the mortality rate , it is also crucial for the healthcare sector to devise less invasive medical interventions to minimise post-operative complications and improve patient recovery .
One such method is robotic surgery , a minimally invasive surgical procedure that has refined laparoscopic techniques and can treat many types of colorectal cancer with smaller incisions compared to traditional open surgery . Smaller post-operative wound size leads to less pain , lower risks of infection while preventing pulmonary and long-term complications such as incisional hernias . This , in turn , reduces the need for pain medications and their side effects . Moreover , this procedure allows patients to recover faster , with brief hospitalisations and swift returns to daily routine .
According to Dr Dean Koh who specialises in colorectal surgery and surgical oncology at Mount Elizabeth Novena and Parkway East Hospital Singapore , robotic surgery is suited for colorectal cancer due to the system ’ s accuracy in navigating through the confined spaces of the lower abdomen and pelvis , which are packed with several organs and vital structures , reducing the likelihood of adverse complications .
Impact of minimally invasive procedures on post-operative recovery Hospital stays for patients recovering from conventional open surgery range from seven to 10 days on average . However , laparoscopic surgeries have reduced the duration of hospital stays to three / five days , as multiple studies have demonstrated . Shorter hospital admission minimises the risk of
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