The Department of Colorectal Surgery, headed by Prof. Antonino Spinelli, focuses on diagnostics and treatment of major diseases of the small intestine, colon, rectum and anus. The team performs over 900 operations and sees over 2800 patients each year, focusing on such conditions 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), as well as proctological diseases (hemorrhoids, anal fissures, anal fistulas).

The team uses the most advanced, minimally invasive surgical techniques, including traditional and single access-“single port” laparoscopy and robotic techniques for the treatment of major diseases of the lower digestive tract. For instance, for removal of large polyps and certain cancers of the rectum the surgeons employ a trans-anal approach: Trans-anal Minimally Invasive Surgery, TAMIS or Trans-anal Total Mesorectal Excision, TaTME, thus achieving significant reduction in surgical invasiveness.

The Department also relies on personalized post-operative clinical pathways, striving to minimize the impact of the surgery on the patient and optimize the recovery and the resumption of normal activities. For instance, to ensure excellence on all stages of care, specialized nurses take care of the patients requiring advanced wound therapeutics and/or stoma management in the post-operative period.

What is more, the team continuously collaborates with other Humanitas departments, including Oncology, Endoscopy, Gastroenterology Hepatobiliary Surgery, Radiology, Radiotherapy, and Pathological Anatomy to offer patients affected by tumors a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach. The department collaborates especially closely with the Humanitas Centre for the Study and Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, led by Dr. Silvio Danese, for an integrated and multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of these conditions. Thus, there are two active multidisciplinary medical-surgical sub-teams, one of which exclusively dedicated to patients with Ileal Pouch-Anal Anastomosis after restorative proctocolectomy. The Department of Colorectal Surgery also works with the Gynecology Department for the combined treatment of deep pelvic endometriosis.

Alongside its clinical activities, the Department of Colorectal Surgery is engaged in clinical research related to the application and development of new technologies for the surgical treatment of colorectal conditions. It also continuously collaborates with several laboratories for basic scientific research, investigating the molecular basis of intestinal diseases.

The Department 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.