The Vanguard of Colorectal Surgery in South Jersey

Cooper’s colorectal surgeons are experts at performing minimally invasive surgery on the most seriously ill patients. Mark J. Pello, MD, FACS, Michitaka Kawata, MD, and Benjamin R. Phillips, MD, FACS, are specialty and fellowship trained in colorectal surgery and perform leading edge and traditional open surgeries for the most complex colorectal cancers and conditions.

The team performs over 200 colon resections annually, with 80 percent performed via minimally invasive techniques. They also specialize in complex and cutting edge colorectal procedures including bowel, continence and sphincter-sparing techniques, such as ileoanal reservoir J-pouch surgery, laparoscopic total proctocolectomy, lateral internal sphincterotomy (LIS), anal advancement flap (AAF), and ligation
intersphincteric of fistula tract (LIFT).

“We can take out the entire bowel and as long as there are a few inches of healthy tissue above the anal verge, we can preserve, maintain and restore natural bodily function in the majority of patients,” says Dr. Pello. “This eliminates the practical, social and psychological concerns related to permanent stomas.”

Cooper’s colorectal team specializes in the surgical treatment of:
• Colon, rectal, anal cancers
• Colon polyps
• Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
• Diverticular disease
• Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP)
• Rectal prolapse
• Anal fissure
• Bowel obstruction
• Severe constipation
• Bowel incontinence after childbirth

Cancers of the colon and rectum are the third most commonly diagnosed cancers in the U.S. Of the 200-plus colon resections performed each year at Cooper, approximately 50 percent are malignant.

Cooper Cancer Registry statistics demonstrate a better than average survival rate for Stage III and Stage IV cancers as compared to the National Cancer Data Base. Patients treated at Cooper with Stage III cancer had a 68 percent five-year survival rate compared to 53 percent nationwide. Stage IV patients had a five-year survival rate of 17 percent compared to an 8 percent national average.

Cooper’s colorectal surgeons work hand-in-hand with experts from Cooper’s Digestive Health Institute. Together they provide the most advanced testing and treatment in South Jersey for disorders of the lower gastrointestinal tract. Cooper’s colorectal surgeons also are part of the Cooper Cancer Institute’s Gastrointestinal Cancer Center where each patient has access to a multidisciplinary team of specialists that
include surgery, medical oncology, radiology, gastroenterology, pathology, genetics counseling, nurse practitioners and nurse coordinators. The team meets regularly to review each patient’s chart to determine and implement a treatment plan designed to fit individual needs while following National Comprehensive
Cancer Network (NCCN) and American Association of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) guidelines.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please call 856.963.3695.

Sophisticated testing services are now available for patients with fecal incontinence, constipation and other bowel disorders at Cooper’s Surgical Specialties office at 127 Church Road, Marlton. The Anorectal Physiology Lab, directed by Michitaka Kawata, MD provides a reproducible way of measuring function of the anus, colon and rectum through a combination of tests, including:

Anal Manometry – measures the function of the anal sphincter muscles and evaluates the contribution levels of the nerves and muscles involved in anal incontinence.

Anal Sensation – studies the extrinsic and intrinsic rectal reflexes through sensory components, including rectal and anal sensory perception, neuropathways and reflexes.

Anal Compliance – measures the amount of pressure required for the rectum to relax or respond to increased pressure.

Pudendal Nerve Latency – tests the anal sphincter nerve and muscles to evaluate problems with incontinence.

Endoanal and Endorectal Ultrasound – helps diagnose structural abnormalities of the anal sphincter muscles and adjacent tissues.

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