TEMS, or transanal endoscopic micro-surgery, is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to remove polyps and early-stage cancers from the rectum. It is used as an alternative to traditional abdominal surgery, which carries a higher risk of side effects and a longer recovery period. By using TEMS surgery, incisions are made on the inside of the rectum via the anus using a four-centimeter wide scope that contains both a camera and special surgical instrumentation. High definition images are transmitted to the surgeon, who uses the scope instruments to remove growths and suture treatment areas during the procedure.
Did you know…
that TEMS surgery has been used to remove lesions and polyps high within the rectum since it was first developed in 1983? Physicians and patients have grown to prefer minimally invasive procedures like TEMS, as there is no need for an incision on the outside of the body or the abdomen. The procedure also carries a much lower risk of complications compared to traditional surgery – a feature that is especially beneficial in older, high-risk patients. Today, TEMS has become more widely available, and is available through our colorectal surgery practice right here .
Frequently Asked Questions
What conditions is TEMS surgery used to treat?
TEMS is generally used in the removal of benign, non-cancerous polyps growing within the rectum – especially those which are large, flattened or otherwise difficult to remove. TEMS may also be used to remove very small rectal cancers, though they must have clearly defined borders and margins. Cancers that have spread into surrounding tissues or the lymph nodes are not eligible for TEMS .
What are the benefits of TEMS surgery vs. traditional abdominal surgery?
In addition to being both safe and effective, TEMS surgery carries many benefits over conventional open abdominal surgery. Patients who undergo this procedure typically spend only a single overnight stay in the hospital as opposed to several days. They also enjoy a faster recovery and less overall pain, as well as less risk of complications like infection or bleeding.
How do I prepare for TEMS ?
Patients will undergo a bowel preparation the day prior to surgery and must not consume any foods or beverages after midnight the night before. After, patients typically remain in the hospital overnight and are discharged the following day with directions for minimizing discomfort during the recovery period.