With more than 140,000 cases a year, the pervasiveness of colorectal cancer continues to impact the public and medical community. On a local level, Dr. Stephen Cohen of Southern Regional Health System implementing a new colorectal surgical procedure with NiTi Surgical Solutions’ ColonRing.
When performing colorectal surgery, a portion of the colon is removed, and the two ends are joined back together by a colorectal surgeon. This procedure is called an anastomosis. Traditionally, surgeons have been performing this closure procedure with a circular stapler used from inside the colon. The staples puncture and crush the colon’s internal structure, remain in the body permanently and can lead to a number of complications.
Southern Regional is now using the ColonRing with BioDynami Anastomosis. This device is placed by a surgeon, through either open or laparoscopic surgery, to seamlessly reconnect the two parts of the colon following surgery. The ColonRing, which utilizes a shape memory Nitinol ring, applies gentle pressure to the sections of the colon until the surrounding tissue completely and naturally grows back together. This usually takes about seven to 10 days. The device works by mechanically squeezing blood vessels together, helping to create an immediate hemostasis, or, in other words, stopping blood flow and speeding up the healing process. After healing is complete, the ColonRing is expelled from the body, leaving nothing behind in the colon. Most patients do not even notice the ring being expelled.
To date, Southern Regional has performed more than 210 surgeries with the ColonRing. According to Southern Regional, the ColonRing offers important potential benefits compared to other methods of repairing the colon. Unlike stapling, which can narrow the colon, this device can preserve the widest possible opening, so that the colon continues to work as it should. And, it leaves the body after healing is complete, greatly cutting down on the potential post-surgery complications from foreign body reaction.
Stephen M. Cohen, M.D., FACS, FASCRS, is board certified in colon and rectal surgery. He has been practicing colorectal surgery with Southern Regional Health System for 15 years.