Colon Disease

These are only general guidelines and not meant to replace instructions from a physician. Please talk with your physician about your specific condition.

About The Condition

Colon Disease DiagramThe colon is a portion of your large intestine measuring about five feet long. Its function as part of your digestive system is to remove water and salt from the solid wastes before they are eliminated. The colon has four parts: the ascending colon, the transverse colon, the descending colon and the sigmoid colon. There are several types of colon disease, including:

Appendix Cancer. Appendix cancer is a very rare cancer affecting the appendix, a part of your digestive system located approximately where the large and small intestines meet. Appendix cancer is often found when imaging is done for another condition or if you have your appendix removed because of appendicitis. There are two main types of appendiceal cancers: carcinoids and adenocarcinomas. Most carcinoids can be treated with an appendectomy alone, but some carcinoids and most adenocarcinomas require surgical removal of a portion of the colon, as well.

Colon Cancer. Colon cancer is the third most common cancer for men and women. It refers to malignant cells in the first part of the large intestine, the colon. Colon cancer often begins with polyps, cells that grow abnormally in the colon, which are easy to detect and remove with a colonoscopy when they are small. There are three main types of colon cancer.

Colon Polyps. Colon polyps are groupings of cells that come together in the lining of the colon. Most are harmless (not cancer) and can be removed painlessly during a routine colonoscopy. If they are allowed to grow, some can turn into cancer. If your surgeon is unable to remove the polyp through a colonoscopy, the polyp must be removed surgically.

Before Surgery

If your condition involves cancer, you may have radiation or chemotherapy prior to your surgery to reduce the size of your tumor. Please ask your physician about these treatments. In addition, or for other surgeries, you may be asked to:

Please ask your physician about any additional steps you should take before your surgery, such as colon prep. Read the colon preparation guide here.


Our surgeons perform open surgery, as well as minimally invasive surgeries, for colon disease, including cancer. Your surgeon will explain your particular procedure in more detail.

Minimally invasive surgery. Minimally invasive surgery is performed with laparoscopy or robot-assisted surgery using the da Vinci Surgical System.

Open surgery. Minimally With open surgery, your physician will make an incision at the site of the abnormality large enough so he or she can see and touch your internal organs while operating.

After Surgery

If you have additional questions, please contact us at 763.780.6699.

Surgeons Who Treat Colon Disease

Adrianne L. Bowen, MD

Special Medical Interests:

  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Breast disease
  • Breast cancer
  • Robotic procedures
  • Endoscopy
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  • Advanced laparoscopy
  • Robotic assisted surgery
  • Reflux disease
  • Paraesophageal/hiatal hernia
  • Achalasia
  • Weight loss (bariatric) surgery
  • GI surgery
  • Complex abdominal wall hernias
  • Groin hernias
  • Upper endoscopy
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  • Breast cancer surgery
  • Endoscopy
  • Gallbladder surgery
  • Hernia repairs
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Robotic-assisted surgery
  • Trauma surgery
  • Weight loss surgery
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Jonathan C. Gipson, MD

Special Medical Interests:

  • Gastrointestinal surgery
  • Pancreas and foregut (esophagus and stomach) cancer surgery
  • Complex laparoscopic and robotic surgical procedures, including gastric bypass, gastric sleeve and hiatal hernia
  • Emergency surgical procedures
  • Surgical management of trauma
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Kamrun Jenabzadeh, MD

Special Medical Interests:

  • Robotic assisted surgery
  • Advanced laparoscopy
  • Reflux disease
  • Achalasia
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Benign and malignant gastrointestinal pathology
  • Colorectal oncology
  • Complex hernias
  • Groin hernias
  • Complex ventral and hiatal hernias
  • Endocrine, such as adrenal, thyroid and parathyroid diseases
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Kourtney L. Kemp, MD

Special Medical Interests:

  • Laparoscopic procedures
  • Endoscopic procedures
  • Esophageal disease
  • Heartburn/reflux
  • Robotics
  • Traumatic injuries
  • Complex hernia surgery
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Steven J. Kern, MD

Special Medical Interests:

  • Robotic surgery
  • Gallbladder Surgery
  • Hernia Surgery
  • Surgery for Esophageal Reflux
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Matthew K. Kissner, MD

Special Medical Interests:

  • Minimally invasive surgery for hernia repair
  • Complex repair of ventral/incisional hernia
  • Robotic surgery, advanced laparoscopic surgery
  • Colon surgery
  • Thyroid surgery
  • Parathyroid surgery
  • Colonoscopy and upper endoscopy
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Sarah J. Lippert, MD

Special Medical Interests:

  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Advanced esophageal procedures
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Corey J. Stennes, MD

Special Medical Interests:

  • Melanoma
  • Thyroid disease
  • Parathyroid disease
  • Gastric reflux
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Gastrointestinal malignancies
  • Repair of complex hernias
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rachel tay, MD


  • Breast Cancer, breast disease
  • Colon resections
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Hernias
  • Nissen fundoplications
  • Thyroid conditions
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Gregory J. Vitas, MD


  • Gastric and intestinal disorders
  • Laparoscopic biliary surgery
  • Thyroid and parathyroid disorders
  • Robotic, laparoscopic, and open management of ventral abdominal wall and inguinal hernias
  • Colon surgery
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