John Marks, MD, medical director of the Colorectal Cancer Program at Lankenau Medical Center, was recently invited to the National Cancer Institute of Mexico to present three lectures on Lankenau’s minimally invasive colorectal surgical and robotics program. Following the presentations, Dr. Marks performed a laparoscopic rectal cancer operation that was televised live to several hundred surgeons in attendance at the conference.
“It was an honor to have been chosen to present my lectures to physicians in Mexico about the important advancements in colorectal cancer treatment,” says Dr. Marks. “While medical care in Mexico is quite advanced, in some areas—particularly those in surgeries that are technology-dependent—they are significantly behind. While I've personally performed close to 2,000 laparoscopic colorectal surgeries, this approach is just starting to be done with regularity in Mexico. The focus of this week-long symposium was to expand their usage of minimally invasive surgeries in the treatment of cancer, and they are very interested in our colorectal cancer program that we currently have at Lankenau.”
Serving as the centerpiece of the symposium were two live telesurgeries broadcasted to hundreds of surgeons and health care professionals in attendance, performed by Dr. Marks in one operating room and Dr. Morris E. Franklin, director of the Texas Endosurgery Institute, in another operating room. By demonstrating an actual procedure in real time, Dr. Marks gave important lessons of the surgical cancer techniques while treating the patient’s rectal cancer without the need for a colostomy bag, which had originally been planned for her care. This operation provided the patient with a minimally invasive, advanced treatment option with a much speedier recovery. Instead of the typical two-week length of stay with the traditional rectal cancer treatment options in Mexico, she was able to be discharged four days after the procedure.
Dr. Marks’ lectures, titled “Transanal TEM with Coloanal Anastomosis and Transabdominal Assistance in the Treatment of Low Rectal Cancer," “Laparoscopic Rectal TEM With or Without Robotic Tools: Benefits for Patients, Surgeons, Hospital and/or Health System,” and "Local Excision – TEM," offered background and information on the clinical benefits of minimally invasive surgery as well as lessons on how to implement similar approaches in everyday surgical practice.
As an international leader in the field of colorectal surgery, Dr. Marks has introduced several surgical techniques—such as Robotic Tata, Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgery and Single Incision Laparoscopic procedures—to spare colon and sphincter function with little to no scarring, resulting in thousands of patients who go on to lead normal lives after a diagnosis of colon and rectal cancers.
About Main Line Health
Founded in 1985, Main Line Health is a not-for-profit health system serving portions of Philadelphia and its western suburbs. Main Line Health’s commitment—to deliver advanced medicine to treat and cure disease while also playing an important role in prevention and disease management as well as training physicians and other health care providers—reflects our intent to keep our community and ourselves well ahead. A team of more than 10,000 employees and 2,000 physicians care for patients throughout the Main Line Health system.
At Main Line Health’s core are four of the region’s most respected acute care hospitals—Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Paoli Hospital and Riddle Hospital—as well as one of the nation’s recognized facilities for rehabilitative medicine, Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital.
The Main Line Health system also includes Mirmont Treatment Center for drug and alcohol recovery; Main Line Health HomeCare & Hospice, which includes skilled home health care, hospice and home infusion services; Main Line Health Centers, primary and specialty care, lab and radiology, and other outpatient services located in Broomall, Collegeville, Concordville, Exton and Newtown Square; Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, a biomedical research organization; and Main Line HealthCare, one of the region’s largest multispecialty physician networks.
Main Line Health is the recipient of numerous awards for quality care and service, including System Magnet® designation, the nation’s highest distinction for nursing excellence, the Mid-Atlantic Alliance for Performance Excellence (MAAPE) Excellence Award, and recognition as among the nation’s best employers by Forbes magazine. Main Line Health is committed to creating an environment of diversity, respect and inclusion and has proudly embraced the American Hospital Association’s #123forEquity Pledge to Act to eliminate disparities in care. We are dedicated to advancing patient-centered care, education and research to help our community stay healthy.
About Lankenau Medical Center
Lankenau Medical Center, a member of Main Line Health, is recognized as a national leader in advancing new options to diagnose and treat illness, protect against disease and save lives. Located on a 93-acre campus just outside of Philadelphia, Lankenau Medical Center is a 389-bed, not-for-profit teaching hospital that includes one of the nation’s leading cardiovascular centers; the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, one of the few freestanding hospital-associated research centers in the nation; and the Annenberg Conference Center for Medical Education, that trains over 100 new physicians each year through nationally ranked residency and fellowship programs. Lankenau has received both regional and national recognition for its excellence in providing state-of-the-art, quality care. Lankenau Medical Center has been named among the top 10 hospitals in Pennsylvania and top five in the Philadelphia metro area in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals 2018–19, and was ranked as high-performing in in aortic valve surgery, colon cancer surgery, gastroenterology & GI surgery, geriatrics, orthopedics, heart bypass surgery, heart failure, hip replacement, and knee replacement. Lankenau has achieved The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for stroke care and breast cancer care and is one of the nation’s Top Performing Hospitals for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care. Lankenau has also been ranked for multiple years as one of the top 50 cardiovascular hospitals in the nation by Truven Health Analytics. Lankenau has also earned the highest distinction for excellence in nursing care, the American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet® designation.