Surgery is the most common treatment for colorectal cancer. A number of factors are considered before choosing a surgical treatment option, including the stage of cancer, size and location of the tumor, and how fit the patient may be to undergo surgery. Your colorectal cancer physician will recommend the most appropriate treatment option.


Contact Colon and Rectal Clinic at 206-386-6600.


The surgical removal of cancerous polyps using a colonoscope. This treatment is used when colorectal cancer is detected very early and the cancerous cells have not spread beyond the polyps.

Segmental Resection

Also called an open colectomy or hemicolectomy. When colorectal cancer has spread into or beyond the wall of the intestine, segmental resection is the standard surgical treatment. A segmental resection means that the tumor, a portion of the surrounding healthy colon or rectum and nearby lymph nodes are surgically removed. When possible, the surgeon then reconnects the healthy portions of the colon while trying to preserve the patient's normal bowel functions.

Laparoscopic Colectomy

The surgeon removes the tumor using a laparoscope, a thin instrument that has a light and lens for viewing. Smaller cuts are used in comparison to traditional open surgery, often resulting in a quicker recovery. This may be an option for early stage colorectal cancer.

Robotic Surgery (daVinci ®)


The Swedish Colon & Rectal surgeons now offers its patients access to the minimally invasive daVinci® Surgical System, an effective alternative to traditional open surgery and conventional laparoscopy. With the assistance of the da Vinci ® Surgical System, the surgeons can now operate using smaller incisions, minimizing the pain and risk associated with surgery while increasing the likelihood of a fast recovery.

Robot-assisted colorectal surgery (da Vinci ®)


TAMIS (Transanal Minimally Invasive Surgery) is a new form of Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgery (TEM) pioneered in 2009 that allows surgeons to remove some rectal lesions without removing the entire rectum. TAMIS is an alternative treatment for some people with early stage rectal cancer or precancerous polyps.

Swedish is the only hospital in Seattle to offer this rectum saving technology.

Learn more about TAMIS


In rare cases, a temporary or permanent colostomy may be performed after surgery for rectal cancer. A colostomy is a surgical opening between the abdomen wall and the colon that provides an alternate route for waste to leave the body.

More Information

Treatment Options by Stage

Radiation Therapy

Chemotherapy / Targeted Therapy

About Colorectal Cancer