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Colorectal Care at Vail Health

Call (970) 479-5036 to schedule a telehealth or in-person appointment in Vail. 
Colorectal Care First Body Content Block
Vail Health provides the highest standard of care for colorectal conditions, which affect the lower gastrointestinal tract, colon and rectum. With compassionate, highly experienced providers and the most advanced robotic surgery tools available, including the da Vinci Xi Surgical System, Vail Health offers excellence in colorectal care.

Collaboration among experts increases the level of colorectal services offered within the Vail Health health care system, which includes Colorado Mountain Medical, Shaw Cancer Center and Howard Head Sports Medicine, among others. From the onset of a colorectal condition, providers communicate seamlessly with each other and with patients to create an individualized treatment and recovery plan. For colorectal patients, this team-based approach allows for a streamlined experience that spans treatment, pain management and follow-up care, including physical therapy.

Colorectal Conditions and Procedures

Vail Health's colorectal care team treats a variety of conditions and performs colorectal procedures including the following:

Colorectal Conditions

  • Colon polyps, large or complicated
  • Colon cancer
  • Diverticulitis
    • Acute diverticulitis
    • Chronic relapsing diverticulitis
    • Complicated diverticulitis
  • Parastomal Hernia Repair

Colorectal Procedures

  • Colectomy (Right, Transverse, Left and Sigmoid)
  • Low Anterior Resection (Rectal Resection)
  • Colostomy
  • Ileostomy
  • Lysis of Adhesions for Bowel Obstruction
  • Small Bowel Resection
  • Appendectomy

What Is Colorectal Robotic Surgery?

Colorectal robotic surgery is a minimally invasive surgery technique that uses advancements in robotics to achieve many beneficial surgical outcomes including better options for pain management and a faster recovery time. In colorectal robotic surgery, the surgeon performs the surgery by guiding instruments from a console that delivers highly magnified, 3D high-definition views of the surgical area. Using this technology, the surgeon is able to move the instruments with fine-tuned precision and a greater range of motion than the human hand.  

Vail Health’s operating suite is equipped with the da Vinci Xi Surgical System for colorectal robotic surgery. Colorectal conditions that require surgery are often good candidates for robotic surgery due to its advantages over traditional and laparoscopic surgery for this technically challenging area of the body. 

Benefits of Colorectal Robotic Surgery

The benefits of colorectal robotic surgery compared to traditional and laparoscopic surgery include: 
  • Faster recovery
  • Less time spent in the hospital
  • Quicker return to activities and work
  • Reduced chance of infection 
  • Smaller surgical incision
  • Minimally invasive techniques
  • Smaller surgical incisions 
  • More options for pain control
  • Decreased need for opioid prescriptions 

Colorectal Surgery: What to Expect

Once patients have been diagnosed with a colorectal condition that requires surgery, they will meet with a surgeon who will review imaging and previous procedures. In consultation with the patient, the surgeon will recommend a course of treatment. At the time of consultation, colorectal surgery will be scheduled if needed. 
From surgery planning to recovery, our team focuses on educating patients and providing the support needed during this time. Patients having colorectal surgery are normally prescribed antibiotics before surgery to reduce the chance of infection and should plan on doing a bowel prep the day before surgery. Patients should also familiarize themselves with this pre-surgery information provided by the Surgical Associates team and can reach out to us with questions: 

Pre-Surgical Planning: (970) 479-5144
Admissions: (970) 479-7261
Insurance Support Team: (888) 652-7640 or (970) 777-2902
Office hours are from 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM, Monday-Friday.
Patients should plan to arrive at Vail Health Hospital an hour and half prior to surgery. A valet is available to park your car at no cost. Check in at the Admissions department. 
Your provider will meet you in the pre-operative area before surgery to review your procedure, answer any outstanding questions and discuss recovery plans.
Patients should expect a hospital stay ranging from one to four days. While a typical recovery for open colorectal surgery is 6 to 8 weeks with no strenuous activity, the recovery for colorectal robotic surgery is much quicker, closer to 2 to 4 weeks. Our surgical protocols and close relationship with Howard Head Sports Medicine will get you back to the activities you love as soon as possible. 
Post-surgery pain control includes multimodal therapies such as non-steroidal medications (NSAIDs), Tylenol, non-opioid muscle relaxers, and other strategies designed to reduce pain and decrease the need for opioid prescriptions. We also work with our anesthesiology team to provide catheters that significantly decrease postoperative pain. 
After leaving the hospital, patients will normally return to the clinic to see their provider 7 to 10 days after surgery for their first postoperative appointment. Colorectal surgery patients should expect two or three appointments for follow-up depending on specific needs. Physical therapy with Howard Head Sports Medicine will be scheduled to help patients meet their goals for returning to work and other activities. 

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