Even if you have had or are going to get your colon
removed, there is definitely hope in a full recovery. This
royalty free video will show you that you can get back to
Colectomy, Colon Removal)
An operation to remove all or part of the colon. The colon, or large intestine, is the lower part of the intestines.
Colectomy is performed to treat a variety of conditions, including the following:
Your doctor will likely do the following:
In the days leading up to your procedure:
You will receive general anesthesia for the surgery.
The surgeon makes a single long incision (open colectomy) or several smaller incisions (laparoscopic colectomy) in your abdomen.
If only part of your colon is removed (partial colectomy), your surgeon sews the open ends of the intestine together after the central portion has been removed.
If all of your colon is removed (total colectomy), or your surgeon determines your intestine needs time to heal and rest after the procedure, you may need a colostomy or ileostomy.
In a colostomy or ileostomy procedure, your surgeon makes a small opening, called a stoma, in the front of your abdominal wall. The open end of your intestine is then pulled through the abdominal wall and attached to the skin. Your waste will exit your body through this opening. You will wear a pouch, or an ostomy bag, on the outside of your body, where waste material will be collected. The stoma may be either temporary or permanent.
After the procedure is complete, your surgeon closes the muscles and skin of the abdomen with stitches or staples, and applies a sterile dressing.
The portion of the colon that was removed will be sent to a pathologist for examination.
The procedure takes 1 to 4 hours or more.
Anesthesia prevents pain during surgery. Patients typically experience pain during recovery, but receive pain medication to relieve the discomfort.
This surgery typically requires 5 to 6 days of recovery in the hospital.
You will receive instructions about when and what you can eat, and how you need to restrict your activity. During the first few days after surgery, you may be restricted from eating. You will need to take it easy for 1 to 2 months, as you recover from your surgery.
If you have a colostomy:
The outcome varies depending on why you had the colectomy. If you have colon cancer and the entire cancerous area is removed with a colectomy, your outcome is good. A colectomy may also reduce your risk of developing colon cancer if you had it to treat a precancerous condition, including familial polyposis, ulcerative colitis , or colon polyps . Most people who have colectomies go on to live normal, active lives, and the colon adapts to return bowel activity to normal.
It is essential for you to monitor your recovery once you leave the hospital. That way, you can alert your doctor to any problems immediately. If any of the following occur, call your doctor:
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTH-CARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.