Transanal Minimially Invasive Surgery (TAMIS)

What is TAMIS?

TAMIS stands for "Transanal Minimally Invasive Surgery”.  It allows surgeons to perform surgery though the anus, without any scars, and with minimal or no pain afterwords.  The main type of operation surgeons use TAMIS for is to remove early stage rectal cancers and pre-cancerous growths from the rectum. For select patients, it as important alternative to radical surgery.  Technically, TAMIS utilizes laparoscopic equipment, high-definition cameras, and a specialized insufflation system through the TAMIS device.  

When was TAMIS developed and by who?

TAMIS was developed in 2009 by Dr. Sam Atallah and two other surgeons, who published their original work in 2010.  They described it as “a giant leap forward” because it allowed access in ways that had been otherwise impossible…and TAMIS also allowed surgeons  to perform very precise (and often bloodless) surgery.  Dr. Atallah also went on to invent robotic TAMIS.TAMIS in Orlando, FL

Is TAMIS  ‘FDA-Approved’?

Yes. There are currently three US-manufacturers who make devices that are FDA-approved for TAMIS (as of 2018).  Two of these (Applied Medical and Medrobotics) have specifically designed and manufactured products for this purpose. 

Who is a candidate for TAMIS?

Importantly, only a qualified colorectal surgeon can determine if a patient is a candidate for this advanced procedure.  There are many variables that a surgeon has to factor in — such as the tumor’s location, its stage and the tumor’s depth, as well as overall health of the patient.  TAMIS is NOT the correct surgical treatment for all rectal cancers. 

What should patients expect when undergoing TAMIS?

Prior to Surgery — Dr. Atallah will have patients perform a bowel preperation or “clean out” similar to those performed for colonoscopy.  This is done the day before surgery, and on the day before surgery patients are to maintain a clear liquid diet.

Day of Surgery — The patient is taken to the operating room and placed under general anesthesia.  The surgeon removes the lesion using TAMIS.  Most operations are about one hour long. Afterwords, the patient may either be discharged on the same day, or kept overnight for observation.

After Surgery — Most patients have little or no discomfort.  Minor bleeding and feeling sore is common and usually self limited.  There are no diet restrictions.  There are no activity restrictions.  Patients will return for post-operative evaluation by  Dr. Atallah (typically 10-14 days after TAMIS).  At that time, Dr. Atallah will examine and assess healing. 

Dr. Atallah on developing ‘TAMIS':

"TAMIS is a revolutionary approach to the removal of rectal tumors and polyps that I co-developed in 2009.  It has quickly caught on -- this technique is now being performed at top institutions worldwide.  More importantly, it has lead to the next-step in avanced rectal cancer surgery, whereby tumors of the rectum can be removed with less scars, better outcomes, and probably with fewer patients winding up with a permanent ostomy.  This is GREAT NEWS for patients battling this curable disease! … TAMIS is simply an innovation that makes all the sense in the world."


Do you have questions about the TAMIS procedure from Digestive And Liver Center Of Florida? Call our Orlando, FL office at (407) 384-7399 to learn more