Dr. Leithead trained under Dr. Moises Jacobs, who is world renowned as a pioneer in laparoscopy and is credited with performing the first laparoscopic colectomy in the world. Invaluable expertise was also derived from Dr. Gustavo Plasencia and Dr. Henry Lujan, experts in the field of minimally invasive and robotic colorectal surgery. This exceptional training allows Dr. Leithead to provide the highest quality of surgical care to all of his patients needing colorectal surgery. Dr. Leithead is interested in all aspects of colorectal surgery, including the surgical treatment of colon cancer, diverticulitis, colonic polyps, and hemorrhoids.

A colon polyp is an overgrowth of tissue located on the inner lining of the colon.  As one ages, the likelihood of colon polyps increases, and they may be located throughout the colon.  Colon polyps may be either benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

Common symptoms may include abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, unexpected weight loss, or you may not have any symptoms at all.  Colon cancer (Colorectal Cancer) is the third most common cause of cancer (excluding skin cancer) in men and women combined.  However, it is the second leading cause of death when men and women are combined.  A screening colonoscopy is a common way to evaluate for colonic abnormalities.  Many colon polyps may be removed via colonoscopy; however, if too large or concerning for colon cancer, surgical removal is warrented.  This is facilitated by removing a part or all of the colon.

Dr. Leithead specializes in the minimally invasive technique to remove the colon polyp or cancer with the latest laparoscopic and robotic techniques.  This is performed by creating small incisions to allow access to the abdomen.  Once the polyp/cancer is localized, specialized instruments allow a section or all of the colon to be removed.   Smaller incisions associated with the minimally invasive technique have significantly less incisional pain, as well as a decrease in risk of infection, and shorter hospital stay.

If you are interested in more information, please contact Dr. Leithead for a consultation.

Diverticulosis is a common gastrointestinal condition which involves the formation of outpouchings in the colon wall.  This becomes more common after one reaches the age of 50.  Diverticulosis is more commonly located within the left and sigmoid colon; however, it may be throughout the entire colon.  Many patients remain asymptomatic, but bleeding may occasionally occur.  Common risk factors include aging and a low fiber diet.

Diverticulitis results when one of the diverticula becomes inflamed.  This may be due to an occlusion of the outpouching, preventing drainage.  Common symptoms include left sided abdominal pain, fever, and an elevated white blood cell count (WBC) found upon routine laboratory analysis.  A CT scan is used to further evaluate the symptoms and colon, which can help confirm the diagnosis.  Many initial, uncomplicated, episodes may be treated with bowel rest, intravenous fluids (IVF), and antibiotics.  If the episode is complicated by an abscess, perforation, or is recurrent, surgical intervention may be necessary.  Removal of the colon most commonly associated with diverticulitis results in a resolution of diverticulitis and associated symptoms in most cases.

Dr. Leithead specializes in the minimally invasive techniques to remove the colon with the latest advanced laparoscopic and robotic techniques.  This is performed by creating small incisions in the abdomen to allow access to the colon.  This is followed by isolating the area of diseased colon, and removing this area.  Finally, with the use of specialized instruments, the colon is reconnected.  Minimally invasive colectomy patients are associated with significantly less pain, a decreased risk of infection, earlier ambulation, and a shorter hospital stay.

If you are interested in more information, please contact Dr. Leithead for a consultation.

Hemorrhoids are blood vessels located in the smooth muscles of the walls of the rectum and anus and are a normal part of anatomy.  However, when hemorrhoids swell, there is an increase in pressure and discomfort.  Other commonly associated symptoms are painless bleeding and itching.  An increase in pressure may be caused by a low fiber diet causing one to strain with bowel movements, pregnancy, and obesity.  Symptomatic hemorrhoids are typically treated with a high fiber diet, adequate hydration, and stool softeners.  If symptoms fail to resolve or progress, surgical intervention may be necessary.  This is referred to as a hemorrhoidectomy, which Dr.Leithead  performs two ways.

  • A Minimally Invasive Stapled Hemorrhoidectomy is an outpatient procedure that involves removing the swollen and enlarged hemorrhoidal tissue.  This results in minimal pain and aids in the resolution of symptoms.
  • An Open Hemorrhoidectomy  is the surgical excision of the hemorrhoidal tissue.

Dr. Leithead will determine the procedure that is best for you after examination.