The Department of Colorectal Surgery, led by Prof. Antonino Spinelli, deals with the diagnosis and treatment of major diseases of the small intestine, colon, rectum and anus. The activities are performed for patients on both an outpatient and inpatient basis (ordinary and day surgery). The surgical team performs over 900 operations and sees over 2800 patients each year.

The team specializes in the treatment of colorectal diseases, such as cancer of the colon and rectum (even in the presence of hereditary tumors), chronic inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), complicated diverticular disease, functional disorders obstructed defecation syndromes, rectal prolapse, rectocele), proctological diseases (hemorrhoids, anal fissures, anal fistulas).

The team uses the most advanced, minimally invasive surgical techniques (via traditional or single access-“single port” laparoscopy and via robotic platform) for the treatment of major diseases of the lower digestive tract, associating them with custom routes of clinical management of the postoperative period, in order to minimize the impact of the surgery on the patient and optimize the recovery and the resumption of normal activities.

In particular, for patients with tumors of the colon and rectum, cancer indications and treatment programs are delineated by continuous collaboration in the form of integrated and multidisciplinary teams that use multiple specialties including Oncology, Endoscopy, Gastroenterology (with family counseling for genetic forms ), Hepatobiliary Surgery, Radiology, Radiotherapy, and Pathological Anatomy. Furthermore, for surgery of large polyps of the rectum and the removal of certain cancers of the rectum, a procedure known as Transanal (Transanal Minimally Invasive Surgery, TAMIS; transanal Total mesorectal excision, TaTME) is used, with significant reduction in surgical invasiveness.

For years, there has been a strong partnership with the Centre for the Study and Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, led by Dr. Silvio Danese, for an integrated and multidisciplinary approach to these diseases: there are two active multidisciplinary medical-surgical clinics, one of which is exclusively dedicated to patients with Ileal Pouch-Anal Anastomosis after restorative proctocolectomy and is known as the Pouch Clinic.

The Operating Unit of Colon and Rectal Surgery collaborates with the Operating Unit of Gynecology for the combined treatment of deep pelvic endometriosis.

In the postoperative period, the Section uses specialized nurses in advanced wound therapeutics and in the management of stoma, for patients for whom it is necessary.

Alongside the clinical activities, the Operating Unit of Colon and Rectal Surgery is engaged in clinical research related to the application and development of new technologies for the surgical treatment of these diseases. It also plays an active role in an ongoing collaboration with several laboratories for basic scientific research on investigating the molecular basis of intestinal diseases.

The Unit has also recently launched an innovative project for International Clinical Fellowships in Colorectal Surgery and works closely with many of the major centers of international reference.