Colon & Rectal Surgery

Colon and Rectal Surgery's Commitment to Excellence

The Department of Colon and Rectal Surgery at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center is committed to excellence in patient care, innovative surgical techniques, clinical research, and medical education. Patients have access to the knowledge and expertise of board-certified specialists highly trained in all areas of colorectal surgery, including:

  • Anorectal reconstruction including sphincter repair
  • Coloanal anastomosis
  • Colonic J-pouch
  • Coloplasty
  • Colorectal cancer surgery, including sphincter salvage procedures
  • Laparoscopic colorectal surgery
  • Sacral nerve stimulation for fecal incontinence
  • Surgery for inflammatory bowel disease including ileoanal pouch procedure
  • Total mesorectal excision
  • Transanal endoscopic microsurgery

Our specialists are also members of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons.

In 2010, Lahey colorectal surgeons cared for over 14,000 patients at our two outpatient clinics in Burlington and Peabody. We work in close collaboration with our nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, colon and rectal residents, general surgery residents, and others to treat all colorectal disorders.

In This Section

Make a Referral

Thank you for trusting us with the care of your patient. You can feel confident that we will treat your patients right with exceptional team-based care, while keeping you abreast of diagnoses and plans for their treatment.

In order to give us the most complete understanding of your patient’s medical history and current condition, we would appreciate any information pertaining to previous treatment and medical history. Please send us a completed patient release form and include the following information:

  • Biopsy results
  • Discharge summary
  • Endoscopy reports
  • Operative notes
  • Pathology reports
  • X-ray reports

Support Groups

Ileoanal (J-Pouch) Support Group

This support group is held four times a year and offers mutual aid for those patients who have had or are considering a J-Pouch/Ileoanal Pouch.

Please call 781-744-1030 for more information.

Ostomy Support Group

This support group is held every other month and offers mutual aid for those patients who have a ileostomy, colostomy or urostomy.

Please call 781-744-1030 for more information.

Colorectal Cancer

At the Lahey, our expert team of specialists provide a full range of high-quality, comprehensive colorectal cancer services. Our patient-focused care assures you are treated with respect and compassion every step of the way.

From the moment you walk in, we want you to feel confident that you are in expert hands and in the right place.

Our comprehensive care carries through any and all phases of treatment, assuring you of the seamless, integrated care you need and deserve. We offer an unparalleled breadth and depth of colorectal cancer services.

Abdominal Surgery

The Colon and Rectal Surgery team performs all of the following abdominal surgeries to relieve symptoms and heal numerous colon and rectal diseases and conditions.

Abdominoperineal Resection

During an abdominoperineal resection (APR), the rectum is removed. After this surgery, patients will have a permanent colostomy. This surgery is performed for cancer of the rectum in addition to inflammatory bowel disease that does not respond to other medical treatments.

Abdominal Surgery for Rectal Prolapse

There are a number of abdominal procedures for rectal prolapse. These procedures generally involve removal of a portion of the large bowel and the use of sutures or prosthetic mesh to "pex" the rectum. An open or laparoscopic approach, depending on various factors, may be performed.

Colon Resection

During a colon resection, the diseased portion of the colon is removed, and the healthy ends are sewn back together. This surgery is performed for diverticular disease, cancer, trauma, or inflammatory bowel disease.

Creation of Ileostomy or Colostomy

This surgical procedure creates an opening in the abdominal wall to remove solid waste. The opening is called a stoma or ostomy. An ileostomy is created from the small intestine when both the colon and rectum are removed. A colostomy is created from the colon and is performed when only the rectum is removed. After the surgery, patients wear a small bag attached to their body to collect the waste. The bag is odorless, not visible when wearing clothes, and typically does not limit patients' ability to lead an active life.

Ileoanal Pouch Procedure

This procedure is often performed in stages and involves removal of the colon and rectum with preservation of the sphincter muscles, creation of a new rectum (J-pouch) and temporary ileostomy.

Low Anterior Resection

During this procedure, surgeons remove the rectum and connect the colon to the anus. Sometimes there is the need for a temporary ileostomy. The procedure is typically performed on patients who have rectal cancer.

Small Bowel Resection

The diseased portion of the small bowel is removed and the two healthy ends are sewn back together. This surgery may be performed to remove tumors, narrowed areas of the small bowel, or areas affected by inflammatory bowel disease, especially Crohn's disease.

Total Abdominal Colectomy

During a total colectomy, the entire colon is removed and sometimes, the rectum. After this surgery, patients will have an ileostomy, which is an opening in the abdomen through which bodily waste enters a pouch. This surgery is most commonly performed for ulcerative colitis, familial polyposis or Crohn's disease.

Anorectal Surgery

The Colon and Rectal Surgery team performs all of the following anorectal surgeries to relieve symptoms and heal numerous anorectal diseases and conditions.

Abscess/Fistula Surgery

A number of treatments are available for anal fistulas depending on patient factors and the relation of the fistula to the anal sphincter. These include fistulotomy (which involves cutting a small portion of the anal sphincter to open the tunnel and converting the tunnel into a groove that will then heal from within outward), placement of a seton, endorectal flap, fistula plug, and injection of fibrin glue.

Anal Surgery for Rectal Prolapse

A number of anal procedures are available for rectal prolapse. Transanal surgery allows for a quicker recovery, but is generally indicated for older patients.


A surgical procedure in which excessive tissue that causes bleeding and protrusion is removed. The wound is closed with stitches. This procedure is very effective for the removal of external and internal hemorrhoids. Procedure for Prolapsing Hemorrhoids (PPH), otherwise known as hemorrhoid stapling, is a technique that uses a special device to internally staple and excise internal hemorrhoidal tissue. This method does not remove external hemorrhoids.

Lateral Internal Sphincterotomy

This is a surgical procedure used to treat an anal fissure (tear in the anus). It involves cutting a portion of the internal sphincter muscle, decreasing pain and spasm. Another treatment involves the injection of Botox.

ilonidal Cyst Excision

Treatment of a pilonidal cyst involves surgical excision/unroofing. The wound is often left open and dressings or packing are required. Alternative treatments such as the use of a VAC dressing are sometimes used.


This is a surgical procedure performed on patients who have a damaged or weakened sphincter muscle and associated fecal incontinence. It consists of re-attaching the muscles to tighten and strengthen the sphincter so it can better retain fecal contents.

Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgery (TEMS procedure)

This is a minimally invasive procedure which involves removing lesions (polyps and selected cancers of the rectum) through the anus with the use of a specialized proctoscope.

Treatment of Anal Condyloma (Anal Warts)

This involves destruction of warts using electrical cautery, surgical removal, or a combination of the two.