My surgeon said that the operation is the same (open, lap, robot) just with a variation in access. His preference was to start lap but move to open if he needed to in order to get the best outcome. He is a colorectal surgeon at a large, academic hospital and performs 1-2 LAR/week. My tumor was very low. Also in talking to friends who spend a lot of time in operating rooms, their insight was that the younger surgeons tended to prefer lap since that was a lot of their training vs. the older surgeons who tended to prefer open since that had been the bulk of their experience. I ended up with lap - very straightforward recovery from the incisions. Still felt like I had been kicked in the stomach by a mule, but it was more uncomfortable than painful. Surgery took about 5 hours. Started at 8 AM and first sample was sent to pathology at 10:45 am. Removed 35 cm of colon plus rectum and mesorectum. 3 incisions - one in navel, one above navel, and the ileostomy. When I asked the surgeon about the robot, his view was that he didn't need it and it required larger ports (hence larger incisions) than then traditional lap.
52 y at dx, mom to 4
DX: RC on 2/22/2016
Stage I, T2N0M0, 0/32 LN
23 mm x 7 mm moderately differentiated invasive adenocarcinoma
3 cm from anal verge
4/12/16: ULAR, TME, & temp ileostomy
6/14/16: ileo reversal