Colectomy (removal of parts of intestine)
A colon resection, also known as a colectomy, is a surgical procedure to remove either part of or all of the entire large intestine, also known as the colon. The colon is a long tubular organ at the end of the digestive tract. A colon resection is performed to treat or prevent certain diseases of the colon.
When is a colon resection necessary?
Colon resection surgery is recommended as treatment for the following:
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Bowel obstruction
- Colorectal cancer
- Crohn's disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Preventive surgery for patients with certain genetic conditions
- Abscess or injury
- Injury to the colon or rectum
- Fistula or abnormal connection between organs
Types of colon resections
There are four types of colon resection surgical procedures. They include the following:
Total colectomy - the entire colon is removed
Partial or subtotal colectomy - only the diseased portion of the colon is removed
Hemicolectomy - either the ascending or descending portion of the colon is removed
Proctocolectomy -both the colon and rectum are removed
Depending on the condition of the patient and the type of colon resection surgery, the colon resection is done in the hospital under general anesthesia. There are two ways of proceeding with a colon resection:
Some patients may qualify for laparoscopic surgery in which case the incisions are much smaller. Laparoscopic colectomy results in less scarring, less pain, and a shorter recovery period, but may be contraindicated due the patient's condition.
Following a colon resection, other procedures are necessary to reattach the remaining portions of the digestive system in order to permit waste to leave the body. In certain cases, it is necessary to allow the colon, or the area around it, to heal before reattachment takes place. In such instances, an opening is made through the abdominal wall into the remaining tissue at the upper end of the colon and a bag is fitted around the opening to collect intestinal waste. This procedure is called a colostomy and is frequently reversible, depending on the condition of the patient.
After a colon resection, it will take a few days for the patient to resume eating normally. During this period, the patient will receive intravenous fluids. The day after the surgery the patient is usually allowed to drink clear liquids; after that, thick liquids and soft foods will be gradually introduced, followed by a regular diet. As the patient resumes eating normally, the bowels will begin to work again. Since feces, usually more liquid following a colon resection than regular bowel movements, will drain into the colostomy bag, the patient will have to learn to empty the bag and keep the area clean.
Occasionally the colon needs to heal without handling digested food. If this is the case, a colostomy is performed in which a temporary opening is made in the abdominal wall and a drainage bag is secured to the small intestine. This may be temporary, requiring surgery at a later time to remove the bag.
Risks or Complications
There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. These may include the following:
- Excessive bleeding
- Deep vein thrombosis or blood clots
- Adverse reactions to anesthesia or medications
- Post-surgical infection
- Damage to adjacent organs
- Breathing problems
- Incisional hernia
To learn more about our Colectomy (removal of parts of intestine) Services, please contact us at (516) 627-5262 today to schedule an appointment.