Guided Surgery

The informed choice
for your colon surgery

Learn about the benefits that Fluorescence Guided Surgery can provide

Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in the U.S. Approximately 600,000 colon surgeries are performed every year in the U.S. to treat this disease. Most of these procedures are completed without complication but a consistently high number of patients develop a leak at the point where their bowel is repaired.

  • As many as 25,000 patients per year develop this serious, and sometimes fatal complication.

Today, surgeons can impact this serious risk by employing fluorescence imaging during colon surgery. This technology is helping surgeons make better, more informed decisions.

When a diseased or cancerous portion of colon is removed, the remaining healthy sections are joined back together. One of the critical factors in healing these newly joined sections is adequate blood flow to the repaired area. Using traditional surgical methods, it is sometimes difficult to accurately determine if blood flow is sufficient to ensure complete healing. Today, using Fluorescence Guided Surgery, surgeons have a powerful tool that can help them accurately determine which areas of the bowel are receiving healthy blood flow and as importantly, which areas aren’t.

This technology is helping surgeons make better, more informed decisions.

Why Fluorescence Guided Colon Surgery is simple and safe?

Fluorescence Guided Surgery is simple and safe. Here’s how it works – A dye approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is injected into the patient and the dye then circulates throughout the bloodstream. Special cameras can then see the dye illuminating with pinpoint accuracy in the infrared spectrum of light that is invisible to the naked eye. Quite simply, the image the surgeon sees shows the dye glowing bright green wherever there is healthy blood flow. Importantly, areas of poor blood flow do not illuminate.

Clinical studies have compared colon surgeries with and without this fluorescence technology1,2. These studies have shown that with the assistance of fluorescence imaging the surgical plan is often changed compared to what would be done without this technology. Importantly, when the surgical plan was changed, the patients suffered fewer leaks3.

If you are faced with colon surgery, use the search function on this page to find a surgeon in your area that utilizes fluorescence guided surgery.


1. Clinical role of fluorescence imaging in colorectal surgery – an updated review. Ghuman A, Kavalukas S, Sharp SP, Wexner SD.Expert Rev Med Devices. 2020 Dec;17(12):1277-1283. doi: 10.1080/17434440.2020.1851191. Epub 2020 Dec 30.

2. Clinical role of fluorescence imaging in colorectal surgery – a review. Mizrahi I, Wexner SD.Expert Rev Med Devices. 2017 Jan;14(1):75-82.

3. Perfusion assessment in laparoscopic left-sided/anterior resection (PILLAR II): a multi-institutional study. Jafari MD, Wexner SD, Martz JE, McLemore EC, Margolin DA, Sherwinter DA, Lee SW, Senagore AJ, Phelan MJ, Stamos MJ.J Am Coll Surg. 2015 Jan;220(1):82-92.

Fluorescence Guided Imaging use in Colon Surgery
Traditional surgeon's viewColon surgery with FGS
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Dr. Steven D. Wexner

“I think you should optimize patient safety in every single procedure and Fluorescence Guided Surgery allows me to do that.”

Dr. Steven D. Wexner
Cleveland Clinic, Florida
Director, Digestive Disease Center
Chair, Department of Colorectal Surgery

Patient – Doctor Discussion Guide

Patient Brochure: Colon Surgery using Fluorescence Guided Surgery Techniques

Download and print this informational patient brochure about the use of Fluorescence Guided Imaging in colon surgery and bring it to your doctor to discuss your options.

Frequently Asked Questions

Image guided colon surgery is a surgical procedure that uses high-resolution images to guide the surgeon during the operation. This helps to reduce the risk of damaging nearby organs and increases the precision of the surgery.

During image guided colon surgery, a small incision is made in the abdomen through which a camera and surgical tools are inserted. The surgeon uses high-resolution images to guide the tools through the colon and perform the surgery.

Image guided colon surgery offers several benefits compared to traditional surgery, including a faster recovery time, less postoperative pain and discomfort, and a lower risk of complications.

Before image guided colon surgery, you will need to follow your doctor’s instructions to prepare properly. This may include stopping certain medications, changing your diet, or performing breathing exercises.

After image guided colon surgery, you will be given specific instructions on how to care for your incision and what to do to speed up your recovery. You may need to take pain medication and follow a special diet for a time.

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with image guided colon surgery. These may include infection, bleeding, damage to nearby organs, and reactions to anesthesia.

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