Houston Colon Surgeon Utilizing Innovative Procedure to Treat Perforated Diverticulitis

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Dr. Eric Haas, a colon and rectal surgeon in Houston, says that treating perforated diverticulitis, a condition characterized by the rupturing of diverticuli and infection of the colon, using a technique known as laparascopic lavage can lower mortality rates and reduce the risk of required emergency surgery and a colostomy. Dr. Haas recently presented information on the benefits of a less-invasive laparoscopic approach to colon surgery in Houston at the annual meeting of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS).

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Colon Surgeon in Houston Treats Perforated Diverticulitis with Innovative Procedure

We rely on our laparoscopic ability to survey the situation, to identify the amount and the location of the contamination and make the best decision while in the operating room.

At the recently-held 2011 annual meeting of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS), Houston colon surgeon Dr. Eric Haas delivered a lecture on laparoscopic lavage, an advanced, less-invasive procedure for the treatment of perforated diverticulitis. Resulting from an increase in pressure required to eliminate feces, diverticuli are pouches or sacs that develop on the external colon wall. Diverticulitis is the condition in which diverticuli in the colon rupture, causing infection of the colon tissue. Dr. Haas says that through an innovative laparoscopic colon surgery procedure, surgeons can help reduce mortality rates and the need for emergency surgery or colostomy that can result from diverticulitis. He says despite being more advanced and difficult to perform, the procedure is less-invasive and more effective in addressing the complications associated with diverticulitis.

By avoiding a large open incision, Dr. Haas says laparoscopic lavage can treat diverticulitis without requiring emergency colostomy/colon removal while also decreasing the morbidity of such a procedure. Laparoscopic lavage is performed by draining the purulent, or discharge, fluid in order to treat the inflamed tissue and forgo the need for a major emergency surgery. “The thought is that if you evacuate and drain the sepsis and the purulent material, the patients will recover, even if the disease is left behind.”

Dr. Haas says he recommends that surgeons with advanced laparoscopic skills begin looking into the procedure as a method for treating the medical complications associated with diverticulitis. “I would defer from saying it’s standard or not standard, but if your practice is a high-volume laparoscopic practice and you are able to gain safe entry to the abdomen laparoscopically, I would think that you’d want to promote laparoscopic lavage as part of your treatment algorithm for these emergent procedures.”

However, Dr. Haas reiterates the necessity for patients considering this procedure or any type of laparoscopic surgery in Houston to consult with a highly trained and qualified colon and rectal surgeon before undergoing treatment. He says performing laparoscopic lavage requires vast knowledge of techniques and anatomy because of its complex nature. Dr. Haas adds that he hopes his presentation on the procedure at the ASCRS annual meeting educated future providers of laparoscopic lavage and inspired further improvement in patient care and surgical safety. “You must have the experience to gain access to a hostile abdomen using a minimally invasive approach. We rely on our laparoscopic ability to survey the situation, to identify the amount and the location of the contamination and make the best decision while in the operating room.”

About Eric M. Haas, MD, FACS, FASCRS

Dr. Eric Haas graduated from the University of Texas at Austin as a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society and received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Texas at Houston Medical School. He completed a general surgery residency at Christus St. Joseph Hospital Program and a residency in colon and rectal surgery at the University of Texas Affiliated Hospitals. Dr. Haas is a Diplomate of the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery, in addition to being a Fellow of both the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. He is the Program Director at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston for the Minimally Invasive Colon and Rectal Surgery Fellowship Program. Dr. Haas is also the Chief of the Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery and the Director of Clinical Research and Quality Outcomes at University General Hospital.

Located at 7900 Fannin, Suite 2700 in Houston, TX, Dr. Haas’ practice, Colorectal Surgical Associates, can be reached at (713) 790-0600. It can also be contacted online at http://www.drerichaas.com.

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