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HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital says new colon surgical procedure reduces recovery time, pain for patients

stjosephsurgery3Dr. Peter Kim, center, along with Dr. Jose Diaz, left, and Dr. Joshua Knolhoff performed the first combined endoscopic and laparoscopic procedure at HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital on July 6.

HIGHLAND – HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital now offers an alternative surgical procedure for patients needing the removal of a colonic tumor.

The combined endoscopic and laparoscopic (CEL) procedure reduces the pain and recovery time for patients. The CEL procedure is performed by a team of physicians that includes Dr. Peter Kim, gastroenterologist, and general surgeons Dr. Joshua Knolhoff and Dr. Jose Diaz. The physicians performed the first CEL procedure at St. Joseph’s Hospital on July 6.

Patients who require the removal of a colonic tumor through a traditional colon resection are subject to a lot of pain and a recovery time that can last up to a week in the hospital. The new CEL procedure reduces the amount of pain associated with the removal, and allows a patient to potentially go home the same day.

“The benefits of this procedure for a patient is less pain, faster recovery, and the ability to immediately manage any complications that arise, since we have a team of physicians involved,” said Kim. “This is a pretty progressive procedure and we are very excited to be able to offer it in Highland.”

Patients who qualify for the CEL procedure are those with a tumor that cannot safely be removed due to its location, position, or a high risk of perforation to the colon. Patients who have flat tumors, which and harder to reach, are also candidates for the procedure. In these cases, removal of the tumor through the CEL procedure is an alternative option to a bowel resection.

“The upside to doing this type of procedure is that we can be less invasive. When you disturb native tissue it will never be the same. Even though we have success with other types of surgeries, we strive to be less invasive and do what’s best for the patient.”

During a CEL procedure, Knolhoff and Diaz are present to assist Kim in the removal of the tumor, as well as to respond to any surgical needs that may arise during the procedure. Surgery may be necessary if the mass cannot be removed via colonoscopy or a perforation of the colon occurs. At that time, a laparoscopic surgery, a minimally invasive procedure done through a small incision, would be performed.

“This is a new procedure for St. Joseph’s Hospital and it is exciting to be able to offer it to our patients,” said Diaz. “Anytime we can reduce the amount of pain and recovery time needed for a patient, we want to do that.”

For more information about the CEL procedure, please contact the surgery department at St. Joseph’s Hospital at 651-2680 or visit

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