Colectomy, Partial Colectomy
Colectomy, Partial Colectomy
Colectomy is the term used for various forms of colon procedure. These include total colectomy, which removes all of the colon, and partial colectomy, which removes only part of it. Hemicolectomy is a form of partial colectomy, which involves removing the right or left side of the colon. A proctocolectomy involves using both the colon and the rectum in cases where a disease or condition is affecting both. After any of these procedures, other procedures are usually required to restore proper function to the digestive system.
Various diseases and conditions may require colectomy. These include colon cancer, colon bleeding, bowel obstruction, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and diverticulitis. Colectomy may also be performed in a preventive capacity if multiple precancerous polyps have been identified in the colon.
Initial assessments will be carried out with a surgeon to identify whether a patient is a suitable candidate for colectomy and whether the procedure is required. Colectomy is a serious operation and will only be performed when it is absolutely necessary. It will generally not be performed on patients with a high risk of complications such as bleeding, infection or damage to other internal organs. Your doctor may also prescribe some preparatory measures, such as pausing certain medications, taking antibiotics, drinking a solution to cleanse the bowels, and fasting for twelve hours before the procedure.
Colectomy is usually performed under general anaesthesia. It can be done through open surgery or the less-invasive laparoscopic method. The laparoscopic procedure involves removing the colon through a small incision and operating on it outside of the body. This method generally requires a shorter recovery period, but may not be an option for all patients. Open surgery is done through a larger incision and the colon remains within the body. Your surgeon will assess which is the better option for you.
The surgeon must reconstruct the digestive system after the removal of all or part of the colon. They can do this by connecting the remaining part of the colon to the intestine through an opening created in the abdomen or by connecting the small intestine directly to the anus. Options and potential methods will be discussed in advance.
After the Procedure
A colectomy generally requires an inpatient stay of up to one week after surgery. The laparoscopic method generally requires a shorter recovery period. You will remain in hospital until your full bowel function is regained. Liquid nutrition may be required on the days immediately after the procedure.
You may also require a stoma for a short period to deliver waste out of your body and into an ostomy bag. This is only necessary in some cases and will only be temporary in these cases. Instructions will be provided on how to use and change it if necessary.
After returning home, around two weeks of recovery and reduced activity is usually required. Your surgeon will provide recommendations on your recovery and return to regular activities.
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