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CELS Surgery

CELS, also known as Combined Endoscopic-Laparoscopic Surgery, is an alternative to a standard colon resection or colectomy for patients who have been diagnosed with a benign-appearing polyp that cannot be removed via colonoscopy.

The colorectal surgeons at Tufts Medical Center in Boston offer this alternative to colon resection because it often:

  • Has a shorter recovery time –patients typically go home within 1 day compared to the 3-5 days for a colectomy.
  • Has a lower rate of complications
  • Has less long-term effects – a bowel resection or colectomy is usually not required
  • Is associated with lower medical costs compared to a standard colon resection

Is CELS the right alternative for you? 

To determine if this surgery is right for you, we will first review your colonoscopy and pathology reports.  If necessary, we may often recommend additional CT scans of the chest/abdomen/pelvis. Once you have had a complete work up, we will start the operation by using the CELS technique to try and remove the polyp. If we are not able to remove the polyp via CELS (sometimes the polyp cannot be reached due to anatomy or the location makes the procedure technically unfeasible or the appearance of the polyp is concerning for cancer), we are ready and will proceed with the colon resection, the current standard of treatment.

During the CELS procedure, our colorectal surgeons combine colonoscopy with laparoscopy to allow for both internal and external manipulation of the colon. This combined approach gives us direct visualization of the polyp, which allows our surgeons to be more precise in removing the polyp and facilitates polyp removal without the need for a bowel or colon resection.

If you're interested in learning more about CELS surgery, you can watch Tufts Medical Center's Chief of Colon and Rectal Surgery, James Yoo, MD discuss the surgery on a video that was filmed at his former employer, UCLA Health. Watch now >

Lee et al, Surg Endosc.

CELS patient stories


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