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New Microsurgery at Texas Health Southwest Fort Worth Helps Treat Colorectal Cancer
05/10/2010

FORT WORTH, Texas — A new treatment option for early-stage colorectal cancer, the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S., helps patients at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth return to their normal lives faster.

Texas Health Southwest Fort Worth is one of only a few hospitals in North Texas to offer transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM), a minimally invasive procedure that removes colorectal polyps and early-stage cancers through the body’s natural orifice instead of through incisions in the abdomen. For patients, this can mean reduced recovery time, reduced risk of complications, and reduced post-operative pain.

“Some early cancers or benign tumors can be removed with great precision using TEM compared to the traditional method,” said Dr. Augustine Lee, a colorectal surgeon on the hospital’s medical staff trained in minimally invasive surgical techniques. “The goal is to improve the patient’s long term outcome after tumor removal while improving the surgical experience.”

According to Lee, the procedure helps reduce risks associated with major abdominal and pelvic surgery such as infections and damage to nerves that control bladder and sexual function.

The surgery is part of an emerging trend toward “natural-orifice” surgeries, which include techniques that allow some brain tumors to be removed through the nose and gall bladder operations done through the mouth. These types of minimally invasive surgery help reduce scarring, pain and recovery time.

Lee is board-certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994 and a medical degree from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas in 1998. He is a member of the American College of Surgeons, the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, the Texas Medical Association, and the Tarrant County Medical Society.

About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth is a 230-bed acute care, full-service facility that has provided quality and compassionate care to the residents of southwest Tarrant County for more than two decades. The hospital’s services include surgical and imaging services, a 24-hour emergency department, orthopedics and sports therapy, adult critical care, and a Level III neonatal intensive care unit. An affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, Texas Health Southwest Forth Worth has 992 employees, 120 volunteers, and 578 members on the medical staff. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/SouthwestFW.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. Texas Health’s system of 13 hospitals includes Texas Health Harris Methodist, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, Texas Health Presbyterian, and an organization for medical research and education. Texas Health is a partner in eight additional hospitals or surgery centers. Texas Health Physicians Group provides a variety of models for engagement with physicians. Texas Health Partners is a joint venture development and management company owned by Texas Health Resources. Texas Health MedSynergies is a joint venture that offers physicians a range of office management and other business services to support their practices. Texas SingleSource Staffing is a joint venture designed to help Texas Health hospitals improve patient care by recruiting and retaining quality nurses and allied healthcare professionals. For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.

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