New UA Colon and Rectal Surgeon Treats Rectal Cancer With New Minimally Invasive Procedure

Transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEMS) makes it possible to excise polyps and some lesions high inside the rectum that otherwise would be accessible only by major abdominal surgery.
Dr. Jitesh A PatelJitesh A. Patel, MD, a surgeon specializing in minimally invasive colon and rectal surgery, colorectal oncology and complex pelvic floor disorders, has joined the University of Arizona Department of Surgery Division of Surgical Oncology as assistant professor. Dr. Patel treats a wide range of diseases of the colon and rectum, and has special expertise in advanced minimally invasive techniques, including transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEMS) for rectal cancers and polyps.
TEMS makes it possible to excise polyps and some lesions high inside the rectum through the anus that otherwise would be accessible only by major abdominal surgery. The patient benefits of TEMS, as compared to radical abdominal surgery, are: no large incision; less blood loss, trauma and scarring; a shorter hospital stay; and a more rapid recovery. Patients who are ideal candidates for TEMS avoid a colostomy, a common fear among those diagnosed with rectal cancer.
The University of Arizona Medical Center is among a few centers in the nation that offer TEMS.
Dr. Patel also specializes in advanced laparoscopic surgery for benign diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, diverticulitis and other conditions of the colon, rectum and anus, such as hemorrhoids and fissures. He also performs colon cancer screening, including colonoscopies.
Dr. Patel received his medical degree from University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He completed his residency in general surgery at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. During his residency, Dr. Patel dedicated an additional year to basic science research at the University of Pittsburgh. He went on to complete a fellowship in colon and rectal surgery at Washington University/Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.
Dr. Patel has published more than 24 articles, is an invited reviewer for The American Surgeon and serves on the editorial board of the World Journal of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. His research interests include local excision for the treatment of rectal cancer and investigating molecular or genetic markers in determining the response to adjuvant therapy. 
“We are pleased to have Dr. Patel bring innovation and personalized care to our patients and help to advance our colon and rectal surgery program,” said James Warneke, MD, chief, Division of Surgical Oncology. “The division now has two specialized, fellowship-trained colorectal surgeons providing state-of-the-art minimally invasive procedures at both the University Campus and the South Campus of The University of Arizona Medical Center.”
“The UA Department of Surgery is committed to bringing to Arizona highly trained surgeons who also offer advanced minimally invasive colorectal procedures, such as TEMS, that allow our patients to have less pain and recover faster,” said Rainer W.G. Gruessner, MD, chair, UA Department of Surgery. “Dr. Patel will serve our patients well and will build on our history of excellence in surgical oncology.”