Unhealthy lifestyles are often the cause of colorectal diseases. When hereditary factors aren’t the risk, it often depends on wrong foods, a sedentary lifestyle, excess weight, smoking or drinking alcoholic beverages as an habit.
Professor Antonino Spinelli, Supervisor of Colorectal Surgery at Humanitas, spoke about colorectal diseases and the advantages of minimally invasive surgery in an interview for Tg2’s programme “Medicina 33”.
“There are three main groups of diseases. The first and most known is the oncological colorectal diseases’ group. The second one, gathers the intestinal inflammatory diseases (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), and the last, is the diverticular disease”.

Colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer is the second neoplasia by incidence and mortality in Western countries. In Italy 40.000 women and 70.000 men ail every year.
“Traditionally, the most affected age groups are the ones older than 60 years old. However, recent studies have shown that people younger than 40 years old, are gradually ailing. This depends on the spread of wrong lifestyles, regarding both alimentation and physical exercise”, Prof. Spinelli explains.

A minimally invasive approach

Nowadays, traditional surgery is used way less than in the past. “All patients needing colorectal surgery, may benefit instead from a minimally invasive surgical approach. The choice between the traditional or the minimally invasive approach, will be the result of a precise analysis of the case at hand, the assessment of the disease, the interaction between factors pertaining to the patient’s personal history, past interventions, and the characteristics of the lesion, in case of cancer.
Minimally invasive techniques allow to “minimize the surgical trauma. That means, reducing the chances of complications, the length of hospitalization, and consequently, the patients’ fears before such an important surgery”, the professor explains.