Colorectal surgery is the field of medicine specializing in surgery to treat disorders of the rectum, anus and colon.

If you have a colorectal condition, and medication and nonsurgical procedures did not provide relief, then you may be a candidate for robotic surgery. With advances in robotic technology, surgeons can perform many colorectal procedures using a robotic surgical system. This means a more precise surgery with a faster recovery time and less risk to function and nerve sensation.

At St. Joseph’s Hospitals, we offer our colorectal patients the benefits of robotic surgery. Our robotic surgeons have extensive experience performing these surgeries.

Our hospitals require strict criteria for surgeons, exceeding the requirements set forth by other hospitals. That means when you are treated by one of St. Joseph’s robotic surgeons, you are receiving the highest quality care.

September 2013: Robotic Colorectal Program Named an Epicenter

St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, which features one of the nation’s most comprehensive robotic surgery programs, has earned special recognition as the first Epicenter for Robotic Colorectal Surgery in West Central Florida. Surgeons from throughout the nation will visit the St. Joseph's Hospital Advanced Center for Robotic Surgery and learn from César Santiago, MD, who is board certified in general and colon and rectal surgery, serves as the Center’s Medical Director. He is dedicated to building the entire Robotic Surgery Center and was instrumental in achieving Colorectal Epicenter status.

Only a small percent of surgeons are trained in the latest colorectal robotic techniques, but Dr. Santiago said these advancements are important to him because they help his patients feel better, faster. Visiting surgeons get a first-hand look at how Dr. Santiago utilizes robotic technology to provide the best possible outcomes for his patients.

Colorectal Conditions We Treat

Our surgeons perform robotic procedures for many conditions including:

  • Colorectal cancer
  • Genetic syndromes
  • Inflammatory bowel disease:
    • Ulcerative colitis
    • Crohn’s disease
    • Diverticular disease
    • Rectal prolapse

Colorectal Procedures: Choose Robotic Surgery

Features of our robotic colorectal surgeries include:

  • Superior manipulation of the affected area compared to laparoscopic surgery
  • Access to hard-to-reach areas
  • Camera offers enhanced, 3-D visualization
  • Highly accurate, precise surgery
  • Eliminates shaking, leading to better precision
  • Small incisions
  • Less blood loss
  • Highly experienced, trained surgeons

Colorectal Surgery: Benefits of a Robotic Procedure

At St. Joseph’s, we are committed to your safety and to providing excellent outcomes. Our expert surgeons use their extensive training and experience to provide you with the most effective treatment possible.

When you undergo a robotic procedure for your colorectal condition, benefits include:

  • Better visualization of the operating area, leading to a more precise surgery with less manipulation of healthy tissue and nerves
  • Better outcomes
  • Less pain and discomfort after the surgery
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Faster recovery
  • Small scar

Our goal is to treat your condition and get you back on your feet as quickly as possible.

Robotic Surgery vs. Traditional Surgery

While the goal of any surgery is to treat your condition and get you back to your normal activities, a robotic surgery offers the benefits of shorter recovery and better outcomes.


 Traditional Surgery

 Robotic Surgery

Incision type

Large, in order to access the affected area

Small multiple incisions

Danger to surrounding organs and nerves

Greater, due to more manipulation of internal structures

Less, due to precision of robotic instruments

Risk of blood loss and infection

Greater, due to larger incision


Recovery period

Longer, more painful compared to robotic

Shorter, with less pain



Better outcomes because surgery more precise

Colorectal Robotic Procedures

St. Joseph’s surgeons perform the following robotic procedures to treat colorectal conditions:

  • Abdominal perineal resection, the removal of the anus, rectum and sigmoid colon, used to treat cancer.
  • Colectomy (colon resection), the removal of all or part of your colon (large intestine).
  • Colostomy, a procedure to pull part of your colon through an opening in the abdominal wall. Your surgeon attaches a pouch at the opening to collect waste.
  • Illeocecectomy, the removal of parts of the ileum (the last part of the small intestine) and the cecum (first part of the large intestine).
  • Illeostomy, a procedure to pull the end of your small intestine through an opening in the abdomen. Your surgeon attaches a pouch at the opening to collect waste.
  • Intersphincteric resection for tumors close to the anal opening.
  • Lower anterior resection, the removal of the part of your large intestine (colon) and upper rectum, used to treat colon cancer, diverticulitis and other conditions
  • Proctocolectomy with ileal pouch, the removal of the large intestine and most of the rectum, and the creation of an ileal pouch to anus connection
  • Rectal resection with colonic pull-through, the removal of the diseased lining (mucosa) of the rectum and the removal of all or part of the lower bowel. Your surgeon connects the remaining section of the lower bowel to the anus.
  • Rectopexy, a procedure to secure the rectum in its proper position, used to treat rectal prolapse.
  • Repair of rectovaginal and colovaginal fistula, surgery to remove the fistula and close the abnormal opening, along with bowel resection.
  • Small bowel resection, the removal of part or all of your small intestine
  • Transanal excision of rectal mass, surgery performed through the anus to remove rectal tumors.