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Dr. Sim Hsien Lin

Colorectal Surgery
in Singapore

Colorectal surgeries aim to diagnose, treat, and restore the normal functions of the colon, rectum, and anus. Different types of open and laparoscopic surgical procedures are available for the management of various colorectal conditions.

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What Is Colorectal Surgery?

The colon, rectum, and anus are part of the digestive tract that facilitate important functions. These organs ensure absorption of water, formation of stool and finally, elimination of waste products.

Colorectal conditions vary from acute and easily manageable concerns, like constipation to chronic or life-threatening diseases including colorectal cancer. The latter conditions are typically addressed through colorectal surgery.

Colorectal surgery refers to the surgical procedures that focus on diagnosing and treating conditions of the colon, rectum, and anus.

 

How Is Colorectal Surgery Performed?

Colorectal surgery can be performed open or laparoscopically. Both methods aim to remove cancerous growths and lymph nodes restoring the healthy functions of the digestive tract.

The main distinctive feature between open and laparoscopic (Keyhole) colorectal surgery lies in the way the abdominal organs are accessed. Unlike traditional open surgery which requires a long cut in the abdomen, laparoscopic surgery is executed with tiny incisions (about 0.5 – 1.5cm in length) through which a laparoscope and small surgical tools are introduced. A laparoscope is a thin flexible instrument with a light and camera on the tip that enables the surgeon to fully observe the interior of your abdomen on a monitor. Additionally, air may be blown into the abdominal cavity, ensuring better visualisation and access.

Laparoscopic surgery has the following benefits:

  • Reduced pain due to smaller incisions
  • Less scarring
  • Faster recovery
  • Shorter hospital stays

Preparing For Colorectal Surgery

Keeping a nutrition-balanced diet and exercising regularly is vital in the weeks before your surgery. Avoid excessive smoking and alcohol consumption at least a few weeks before your operation.

Preparation guidelines may vary depending on your condition. You will receive instructions from Dr. Sim regarding preparation diet and medications you may need to take or avoid.

Also, you may need to do “bowel prep” prior to your surgery to clear your intestines from stool debris and bacteria. Doing so will help minimise the risk of infection after the surgical procedure.

You should not eat anything after 10:00 PM the night before surgery.

Colorectal Surgery Recovery

The recovery process following the surgery is different for everyone and depends on such factors as the type of surgery, your age, overall health. The whole process consists of two phases: hospitalisation stay and recuperation phase.

As a rule, if you underwent laparoscopic colorectal surgery, you will be discharged in 3 – 5 days. For open surgeries, hospital stay usually lasts 4 – 10 days.

During this stage, getting back to a normal diet will happen over 2 – 4 days depending on your recovery. You will be able to bathe as soon as a day after your surgery.

All patients will have an intravenous cannula for the first few days for the administration of fluids and medication. Also, some patients will have a surgical drain leading out from the abdomen to eliminate the fluid inside the abdomen.

After you are discharged and get back home, it will take some time until your bowel movements establish a regular pattern. Typically, the pattern will settle down 3 – 6 months after the surgery.

Incisions will heal after about two weeks. Most patients report feeling of weakness and fatigue following the surgery. This is normal and you should be back to your pre-surgery state 1 – 2 months after the operation.

Accredited General Surgeon In Singapore

Dr. Sim Hsien Lin’s main sub-specialty is in colorectal surgery. In addition, her sub interests include laparoscopic colorectal surgery, transanal endoscopic microsurgery, surgical management of inflammatory bowel diseases, complex anal fistulas as well as diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopic procedures.

Dr. Sim Hsien Lin

Consultant General Surgeon (Colorectal Surgery)
  • MBBS (Singapore)
  • MRCS (Edinburgh)
  • MMed (General Surgery)
  • FRCS (Edinburgh)

Dr. Sim Hsien Lin is a specialist colorectal surgeon in Singapore with over a decade of experience in colorectal surgery. Her sub interests include laparoscopic colorectal surgery, transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEMS), surgical management of inflammatory bowel diseases and complex anal fistulas.

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Dr. Sim Hsien Lin’s main sub-specialty is in colorectal surgery. In addition, her sub interests include laparoscopic colorectal surgery, transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEMS), surgical management of inflammatory bowel diseases, complex anal fistulas as well as diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopic procedures.
DR. SIM HSIEN LIN

Conditions Treated With Colorectal Surgery

  • Haemorrhoids
  • Bowel Incontinence
  • Polyps
  • Anal Fissures
  • Anal Fistula
  • Perianal Abscess
  • Anal Cancer
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Complicated Diverticular Diseases
  • Hereditary Colorectal Syndromes
  • Rectal Prolapse
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis

Common Types Of Colorectal Surgery Procedures

Haemorrhoidectomy & Haemorrhoidopexy

These two operative options are used in the treatment of symptomatic haemorrhoids (also known as piles) and performed by creating an incision around the anus.

Haemorrhoidectomy is the excision of large and prolapsed haemorrhoids, whereas

Haemorrhoidopexy involves excision and stapling the last section of the anorectum reducing blood supply and ultimately causing haemorrhoids to shrink naturally over time.

Internal Sphincterotomy

This method is suitable for people who suffer from severe and persistent anal fissures, small breaks or cuts in the lining of the anus.

During internal sphincterotomy, the surgeon will make a tiny incision around the anus and incise a small portion of the internal sphincter. This is done to relax the muscles and promote the healing process of the fissure. The sphincter is a group of muscles around the anus that controls bowel movements.

Rectopexy

Rectopexy is a type of surgery that repairs rectal prolapse. This condition occurs when the rectum stretches and protrudes through the anus becoming visible externally.

The surgery aims to restore the rectum to its normal position within the pelvis. The procedure consists of the following steps:

  • Making several small incisions along the abdomen area
  • Freeing rectum from other tissues and structures
  • Lifting the rectum and placing it to its proper position within the pelvis
  • Putting stitches (often along with mesh) around the rectum to secure its position

Stricturoplasty

The surgery alleviates strictures (narrowing) of the intestines by removing scar tissue caused by inflammation from Crohn’s disease which is a type of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

Colostomy

Colostomy creates a stoma through which faeces can pass through the intestines and collect in the external bag. Colostomies can be temporary and permanent.

Temporary colostomy is carried out when there is a probability that the diseased part of the intestines will heal over time. It allows the reattachment of the colon later once the diseased areas have healed.

Permanent colostomy is performed in cases of chronic conditions, like inflammatory bowel disease, diverticular disease or colorectal cancer. During the procedure, your surgeon may also excise the affected area of the colon, rectum or anus.

Transanal Endoscopic Surgery

For this method, your surgeon will use a transanal device with a camera to see the interior of your rectum. This allows large polyps or certain tumours to be removed without creating major incisions. Endoscopic surgery is associated with less pain and discomfort and a faster recovery time.

Resection

This is an operation to remove a portion or the whole diseased organ or tissue. Resection encompasses the following procedures:

  • Low Anterior Resection

This surgery is performed to treat rectal cancer. During this operation method, the surgeon removes part of the rectum and attaches the remaining sections (anastomoses) back together. Low anterior resection involves dissection deep into the pelvis.

  • Abdominoperineal Resection

This method is performed to treat anal and distal rectal cancer. It is done by removing the anus, rectum and part of the sigmoid colon with the draining lymph nodes and supplying blood vessels. Finally, the surgeon will conduct a colostomy to link the end of the colon to a stoma bag.

  • Colectomy

Also referred to as colon resection, colectomy removes only a portion or the whole large intestine. It is widely used to treat IBD, bowel obstruction, and colon cancer. A colectomy can be divided into the following categories:

Partial Colectomy – refers to the removal of a certain segment of the colon.

Total Colectomy or Total Proctocolectomy – Some conditions require surgical removal of the entire colon which is known as a total colectomy. For some severe cases of ulcerative colitis, your surgeon may recommend proctocolectomy which involves removing both the colon and rectum.

  • Small Bowel Resection

Conditions that can be treated with small bowel resection are cancer, polyps, benign growths, ulcers, and Crohn’s disease. The surgeon will remove the affected parts of the small intestine and rejoin the healthy sections.

 

Ileal Pouch Anal Anastomosis (IPPA or J-Pouch Surgery) & Ileostomy

During IPPA, your surgeon will remove the entire large intestine (the colon and rectum) affected by a disease. He or she will then, use the last section of the small intestine, called the ileum, to create a pouch that stays permanently within the abdomen to collect waste. Lastly, the pouch is linked to the anus.

Alternatively, the ileostomy is created. In this surgical method, the surgeon will make a small incision in the abdomen to create a stoma. Then, they will attach the end of the small intestine, called the ileum, to the skin. This way, the waste exits the intestine through the stoma and collects in the bag.

WHY CHOOSE DR. SIM

A Dedicated and Passionate surgeon who Aspires to provide the best care

Modern Facilities

Come visit our clinic, which are equipped with modern and updated equipment, and a team that will take care of all your needs.

Accredited Specialist

Dr. Sim became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh) in 2011, winning the Gold Medal award at the FRCS Exit Examination that year.

Focused After Care

Dr. Sim firmly believes that transdisciplinary care is the key to supporting both the elderly and complex patients through their perioperative and recovery journey.

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    MAIN CLINIC

    SOG - HL Sim Colorectal, Endoscopy & General Surgery

    • 38 Irrawaddy Road, #06-53
      Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
      Singapore 329563
    • Mon, Wed, Thu: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
      Tue: 9:00AM - 1:00PM
      Fri: 9:00AM - 12:00PM
      Sat: 9:00AM - 1:00PM
      Clinic is closed on Tuesday afternoon, Sundays and public holidays
    • hlsimsurgery@sog.com.sg
    • T: +65 6690 4151
    • F:+65 6261 9622
    • M: +65 9657 7464
    OTHER PRACTICE LOCATION

    SOG - HL Sim Colorectal, Endoscopy & General Surgery (Parkway East)

    • 319 Joo Chiat Place, #02-07
      Parkway East Medical Centre
      Singapore 427989
    • Fri: 2:00PM - 5:00PM
      (By appointment only)
    • T: +65 6690 4151
    • F:+65 6261 9622
    • M: +65 9657 7464

    FAQs About Colorectal Surgery in Singapore

    What are the risks and complications associated with colorectal surgery?

    Just like any other surgical procedure, colorectal surgeries involve certain risks and complications which are:

    • Changes in the bowel functions
    • Severe pain and soreness
    • Infection of the surgical site
    • Severe bleeding
    • Damage to surrounding organs, tissues or blood vessels
    • Hernia

    How can I prevent complications after the surgery?

    Keeping healthy lifestyle habits will give you the best chance to avoid any complications following the surgery and promote a quicker recovery. Eating a nutrition-balanced diet and exercising regularly is crucial in the weeks before your surgery. Avoid excessive smoking and alcohol consumption at least a few weeks before your operation.

    Depending on your particular case, Dr. Sim will provide you with recommendations that will help you minimise the risk of complications after the surgical procedure.

    Will I feel pain after the surgery?

    Most patients do experience some pain. This is normal and can be managed with pain killers and improve over time.

    How long will recovery take?

    You will stay at the hospital for 3 – 10 days depending on the surgery method (open or laparoscopic).

    During the home recuperation stage, your bowel movement patterns and stool will gradually come back to normal, completely settling down by the 6 months after the surgery. By 1.5 – 3 months, you will be able to get back to your pre-surgery activity except for heavy lifting and intensive sports training.

    Total Abdominal Colectomy

    A total abdominal colectomy removes the large intestine completely. Once this is done, the small intestine will be connected straight to the rectum. Apart from colorectal cancer, this technique is typically performed to treat Crohn’s disease and severe motility disorders such as colonic inertia.

    Total Proctocolectomy

    Total proctocolectomy is the complete removal of the large intestine and rectum. It always involves the creation of an ileostomy or ileal pouch anal anastomosis to regulate bowel movements. This method is typically performed to treat polyposis syndromes and ulcerative colitis.

    The type of colorectal surgery recommended to a patient depends on the severity of his or her condition, as well as the location and extent of cancer. As with all medical operations, each of these methods come with a set of risks, but in the hands of a skilled and qualified colorectal surgeon, such procedures are safe and effective in dealing with colorectal cancer or diseases.

    For Singaporeans, Singapore Permanent Residents and foreigners

    Medisave & Insurance Claims

    Please speak to our friendly clinic staff about using your insurance plans.

    Dr. Sim’s Special Interests

    Dr. Sim firmly believes that transdisciplinary care is the key to supporting both the elderly and complex patients through their perioperative and recovery journey.

    Book An Appointment
    • General Surgery
    • Complex anal fistula repair
    • Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgery (TEMS)
    • Laparoscopic and open colorectal surgery
    • Management of colorectal cancers and benign colorectal diseases
    • General anorectal conditions
    • Diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy
    • Surgical management of inflammatory bowel disease