Colorectal Surgery

At Henry Ford, you’ll find one of Michigan’s most experienced colorectal surgery programs, with a record of innovation to improve your care. With several locations available for outpatient procedures, you can find the most convenient one for you. We also perform more specialized surgeries at two Henry Ford hospitals.

Our team treats the colon, rectum and anus. Our procedures relieve conditions that cause pain, itching, constipation and incontinence. We offer a range of treatments, including colon and rectal cancer removal, surgical treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s), and hemorrhoid surgery. Minimally invasive options protect your body and help you recover faster.

Learn more about our colorectal cancer treatment.

Why should I choose Henry Ford for colorectal surgery?

We partner with you for your colorectal care at Henry Ford. You have the time you need to speak one-on-one with a surgeon and ask all of your questions. We never push you toward surgery. Instead, we discuss it as an option when appropriate and help you make an informed decision.

People choose Henry Ford for our:

  • Top specialists: Specialized surgeons with years of experience run our colorectal service. Many of our surgeons have chosen to earn board certification in general surgery and colorectal surgery. These surgeons have completed additional, specialized fellowship training. This recognition confirms their skills and knowledge. Above all, our team takes pride in being approachable and ready to answer your questions.
  • Excellence: We belong to several state and national groups tracking the quality of colorectal surgery. In our quest to improve, we review our processes and compare our results to other programs. When it comes to length of hospital stay and risk for complications, our numbers fall below national averages.
  • Teamwork: Our surgeons partner with other top Henry Ford specialists, including gastroenterologists. For pelvic disorders, our surgeons handle rectal issues while coordinating care with urogynecologists. Our surgeons also take part in tumor board meetings to better treat colorectal cancer. Oncologists can shrink rectal tumors before surgery, for example, to help surgeons spare sphincters when possible and preserve your body’s natural function.

Advanced options for colorectal surgery

We have two main goals for colorectal surgery: provide effective treatment and minimize the impact on your body. To achieve those, we continue to look for options that meet unfilled needs and provide clear benefits. We offer:

  • Minimally invasive approaches: Newer surgical techniques limit or avoid incisions to reduce pain afterward, shorten hospital stays and speed recovery. People often return to their daily activities within a few weeks after surgery. We use minimally invasive techniques whenever possible, even for complex cases such as follow-up surgeries. Approaches include:
    • Laparoscopy (surgery through tiny incisions)
    • Robotic assistance (surgeon guides robotic arms to make ultra-precise movements, for either laparoscopic or transanal surgeries)
    • Use of natural openings (transanal approach) to remove tumors and other rectal growths
  • Innovation: As part of an academic medical center, we can adopt promising approaches sooner. Among programs in Michigan, we were:
    • One of the first performing robotic colorectal surgery
    • Among the first offering sacral nerve stimulators for fecal incontinence
    • The first to treat rectal cancer with transanal total mesorectal excision (TaTME). This surgery can help preserve normal stool function for those with large tumors or narrow pelvises.
  • Preservation and repair: When possible, we avoid creating permanent openings (ostomies) in the abdomen to collect waste. Instead, we use minimally invasive techniques for creating internal storage (J-pouches and other ileal pouches). These options help keep your body as natural as possible. We also try to preserve the sphincter. If you do need an ostomy, we provide full ostomy care.

Enhanced recovery after colorectal surgery

Our team has examined ways to improve recovery after colorectal surgery. We work to lower the risk of complications, reduce the need for pain medication and promote healing. People who undergo inpatient surgeries at Henry Ford can often leave the hospital in just a few days.

Steps we have taken include:

  • Keeping up with research advances, including new findings about bacteria in the gut (microbiome)
  •  Treating the bowels with antibiotics before surgery to avoid infections
  • Turning to anti-inflammatory drugs first, to limit the need for opioids, “wake” the gut up sooner, and reduce gut expansion and cramping
  • Giving fewer IV fluids to avoid swelling
  • Having you eat solid food and walk sooner
  • Thoroughly explaining what you should do at home to help your recovery

Colorectal conditions treated

In addition to cancer, our surgeons care for a range of noncancerous conditions affecting the colon, rectum and anus. We treat:

Take the next step

Let us help you schedule an appointment, call (800) 436-7936.


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