Robotic Oncology Center

Colorectal Robotic Surgery

UC Irvine Health colorectal disease specialists place a strong emphasis on quality of life for patients with colon and rectal disorders, especially in the use of minimally invasive, sphincter-saving procedures with the da Vinci Surgical System®.

Our team treats patients with a wide range of disorders involving the small intestine, colon, rectum and anus, including colon and rectal cancers, inflammatory bowel disease (such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), diverticulitis and rectal prolapse, as well as anorectal disorders such as hemorrhoids, fistulas and fecal incontinence. Our surgeons are skilled in minimally invasive robot-assisted and laparoscopic procedures.

Specific robot-assisted services include: 
  • Colon resection
  • Rectal resection
  • Ulcerative colitis surgery with ileal pouch
  • Small intestine resection

UC Irvine’s Robotic Oncology Center uses the latest robotic surgical equipment and techniques to treat cancer. It is one of a few multidisciplinary robotic oncology centers in the United States and the first of its kind in the Orange County. Through the center at Orange County’s only university hospital, patients have access to the expertise and care provided by our highly skilled team of surgeons, nurses and technicians who specialize in using the da Vinci system.

The surgical team also works closely with specialists from the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center in Orange County, and the H.H. Chao Comprehensive Digestive Disease Center to provide the most appropriate and advanced treatment for each patient.

For appointments, please call 877-399-IROC (877-399-4762).

Clinical Team

Dr. Joseph C. Carmichael Joseph C. Carmichael, MD
Colorectal surgeon

Dr. Carmichael is board certified in general surgery and colon and rectal surgery. He specializes in laparoscopic and robotic surgical approaches to diseases of the colon and rectum. Before joining the UC Irvine Health School of Medicine, Carmichael started the first robotic rectal surgery program in the state of Missouri. He is a member of the American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons and serves on two of its national committees. His major interests include research in robot-assisted colon and rectal surgery and the multidisciplinary approach to treatment of recurrent/advanced colon and rectal cancer, as well as complex problems in inflammatory bowel disease.

Learn more about Dr. Carmichael ›

Dr. Steven D. Mills Steven D. Mills, MD
Colorectal surgeon

Dr. Mills is board certified in general surgery and colon and rectal surgery. He specializes in minimally invasive surgery for diseases of the colon and rectum, including cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. He performed the first robot-assisted colovesical fistula repair at UC Irvine Medical Center. His research interests include outcome studies for minimally invasive colon and rectal surgery, sphincter preservation for rectal cancer surgery and the study of new devices for intestinal surgery.

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Dr. Alessio Pigazzi, colorectal surgeon Alessio Pigazzi, MD, PhD
Colorectal surgeon

Dr. Pigazzi specializes in minimally invasive colon and rectal surgery, including laparoscopic, robotic and endoscopic techniques. He performed the world’s first robot-assisted total mesorectal resection for rectal cancer, a procedure that results in faster recovery, better cosmesis and improved preservation of sexual function. Pigazzi, a board-certified surgeon, also is skilled in robot-assisted surgery for pelvic iatrogenic injuries, specifically recto-urethral and vaginal fistulas. He also performs transvaginal colectomies for women seeking to avoid an abdominal scar. He also is an expert in hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy for peritoneal carcinomatosis. The procedure, combined with cytoreductive surgery, is an important and difficult-to-find option for patients with this complicated disease.

Learn more about Dr. Pigazzi ›