Marks Colorectal Surgical Associates



Patients come to Marks Colorectal Surgical Associates from around the world to be treated for a range of colorectal conditions and diseases.

Colorectal surgical procedures

Our colorectal surgeons have expertise in minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic-assisted surgery and have performed thousands of laparoscopic colon resections. Traditional treatment approaches would leave patients facing the need for a permanent colostomy yet with minimally invasive techniques, patients are often able to avoid this measure altogether. Our goal is always to spare colon and sphincter function with little to no scarring, which means better outcomes and higher quality of life for patients after surgery.

Along with treatment for patients with colon and rectal cancers, we treat disorders of the small intestines, colon, rectum and anus.

Surgical approaches include:

  • Ileo-anal J-pouch – A surgical technique that removes disease and creates an artificial rectum, allowing fecal (bowel) control
  • Interstim® Therapy System – A surgically implanted device used to help control and reduce fecal incontinence
  • Colonic J-pouch technique – A J-shaped reservoir surgically created out of patient's own large intestine to improve function and fecal control after rectal cancer surgery
  • Robotic-assisted colorectal surgery – Advanced technology that enables surgeons to operate with enhanced vision, precision and control
  • Transanal hemorrhoidal dearterialization (THD) – An outpatient surgical technique for hemorrhoids to minimize discomfort

Colorectal cancer treatment

Accurate diagnosis is essential to choosing the best treatment for each type and stage of colorectal cancer. Our surgeons specialize in laparoscopic and robotic-assisted colorectal procedures to remove tumors and cancerous cells. These procedures can reduce pain and scarring, minimize blood loss and recovery time and lower the risk of complications. The patients we treat are more likely to retain normal function and avoid colostomy bags.

Colorectal cancer treatment options include:

  • taTME procedure for rectal cancer – This minimally invasive technique—which was first performed at Lankenau Medical Center— removes rectal cancer without the need for abdominal incisions.
  • Transanal abdominal transanal radical proctosigmoidectomy (TATA) – Conceived by Dr. John Marks, this surgical procedure removes colorectal cancer and preserves sphincter function, preventing the need for a colostomy bag.
  • Single-port surgery – With just one incision usually less than two inches long, our surgeons can remove patients' abdominal disease and perform a colectomy to speed recovery and minimize scarring.
  • Marks-Mohiuddin method – This preoperative radiation treatment strategy for rectal cancer promotes sphincter preservation and has allowed over 90 percent of our patients to avoid a colostomy bag.
  • Multidisciplinary rectal cancer care – As an innovator in the multidisciplinary approach to rectal cancer, our colorectal surgeons collaborate with our medical and radiation oncology teams to offer individualized treatment for each patient to fight colorectal cancer, maintain the highest quality of life and avoid a colostomy bag.

State-of-the-art facilities and a healing environment

At the Colorectal Center you'll find unsurpassed amenities such as private waiting and reception areas, modern exam rooms with adjoining private bathrooms, and patient education stations to ensure you experience the utmost comfort and privacy throughout your visit.

Surgical patients are admitted to a dedicated inpatient floor, staffed by specially trained nurses skilled in postoperative colorectal care.

Colorectal screenings save lives

If detected and treated early, colorectal cancer is one of the most curable forms of cancer. Screening tests help find precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer.

All men and women should begin screenings for colorectal cancer at age 45. Some people should be screened earlier than 45, including those with a personal or family history of inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal cancer or polyps.

Colonoscopy cancer screening FAQ

What is a colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a diagnostic procedure performed by a gastroenterologist. It involves insertion of a thin, lighted tube with a camera on the end, into the rectum and up into the digestive tract. Pictures are taken and shown on a screen, allowing the doctor to accurately check for colon polyps, colon cancer, digestive disorders and other gut-related diseases. If any colon polyps are found during a colonoscopy, the doctor is also able to gently remove them and take sample tissue for biopsy (check for cancer).

Does a colonoscopy hurt?

Colonoscopy is not painful. You will receive anesthesia for the procedure, which will make you sleepy and relaxed but still awake so you're able to move into different positions as needed.

How do you prepare for a colonoscopy?

Your doctor's office will advise you on how to prepare for colonoscopy. You may need to stop taking certain medications and supplements for a period of time in advance of your procedure. You will also be given instructions for a liquid diet to be followed in the days leading up to your appointment. Since you'll be receiving anesthesia for the procedure, you'll need to arrange for someone to drive you home afterwards.

How often do you have to get a colonoscopy?

Once you have had your first colonoscopy, it's recommended that you get screened every 10 years unless you are at high risk for colorectal cancer and other disorders of the colon and rectum.

Are there alternatives to having a colonoscopy?

You may have heard about other options besides colonoscopy test for colorectal cancer, such as at-home stool tests. At Main Line Health, we do not endorse this method of testing due to a lack of evidence that these types of tests can detect colon cancer in the early stages as effectively as a colonoscopy procedure.

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Related specialties

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General surgeons are doctors who are board certified as specialists in many different types of surgery. At Main Line Health, our general surgeons are an important part of your care team.

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