A colectomy is the removal of a section of the large intestine (colon) or bowel. This operation is done to treat diseases of the bowel, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis; and colon cancer
Symptoms may include diarrhea, constipation, abdominal cramps, nausea, fever, chills, weakness, or loss of appetite and/or weight loss, or bleeding
There may be no symptoms. This is why screening is essential.
open colectomy An incision is made in the abdomen and the section of the diseased colon is removed. The two divided ends of the colon are sutured (sewn) or stapled together in an anastomosis. If the colon cannot be sewn back together, it is brought up through the abdomen to form a colostomy
laparoscopic colectomy A light,camera, and instruments are inserted through small holes in the abdomen to remove the diseased colon or tumor.
Some diseases of the colon are treated with antibiotics, steroids, or drugs that affect the immune system
Benefits and Risks of Your Operation
Benefits—Removal of diseased or cancerous sections of the intestine will relieve your symptoms and can reduce your risk of dying from cancer
Risks of not having an operation—Your symptoms may continue or worsen, and your disease or cancer may spread
possible risks include temporary problems with the intestine that may require a stoma; leakage from the colon into the abdomen; lung problems including pneumonia; infection of the wound, blood, or urinary system; blood clots in the veins or lung; bleeding; fistula; or death.
Before your operation—Evaluation may include a colonoscopy, blood work, urinalysis, chest X-ray, or CAT Scan (CT) of the abdomen. 1 Your surgeon and the anesthesia provider will discuss your health history, home medications, and postoperative pain control options
The day of your operation—You will not eat for 4 hours but may drink clear liquids up to 2 hours before the operation. Medication to clean out your intestines and an antibiotic may be started the day before. Most often you will take your normal medication with a sip of water.
Your recovery—The average length of stay is 3 days for a laparoscopic or open colectomy. 2 The time from your first bowel movement to eating normally is about 3 to 4 days
Call your surgeon if you have continued nausea, vomiting, leakage from the wound, blood in the stool, severe pain, stomach cramping, chills, or a high fever (over 101°F or 38.3°C), odor or increased drainage from your incision, a swollen abdomen or no bowel movements for 3 days.