Colectomy Surgery Roswell, GA
What Is a Colectomy?
A colectomy is a surgical procedure that removes all or part of the large intestine (colon). It is recommended as a treatment for many serious colon diseases, like cancer and inflammatory bowel disease, when other treatments have either proven unsuccessful or are not an option.
There are many different types of colectomies, named based on how much of the digestive tract needs to be removed:
- Partial (subtotal) colectomy: A portion of the colon is removed
- Hemicolectomy: The right or left quadrants of the colon are removed
- Total colectomy: The whole colon is removed
- Proctocolectomy: The colon and rectum are removed
- Abdominal perineal resection: The lower colon, rectum and anus are removed
A study done for the journal Annals of Surgery found that more than 260,000 colectomies are performed in the US every year.
To schedule a consultation with a colorectal surgeon in Roswell who specializes in colectomy, call (678) 496-2566 or contact Dr. Gail Ravello online.
Why Is a Colectomy Performed?
The goal of a colectomy procedure is to remove the diseased parts of the colon and re-attach the remaining healthy potions of the colon.
Colectomies are usually used to treat colon cancer or precancerous colon polyps, but they can also be used for treatment of:
- Severe bleeding
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Bowel obstruction
- Volvulus (twisted intestines)
- Intussusception (when the intestine slides into itself)
While a colectomy is ordinarily done in the event that other therapies are not available or have not been effective, it may also be done as a preventative surgery if you are at genetic risk of familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer.
How is a Colectomy Performed?
Before your colectomy, your surgeon will give you instructions on how to prepare for the operation and an overview of the colectomy procedure steps. Ways that you may need to prepare for your colectomy include:
- Ceasing medications that could create complications during the surgery
- Taking antibiotics to prevent infection
- Taking a laxative or undergoing an enema to clear out the colon
- Fasting for a brief period prior to the surgery
A colectomy is performed under general anesthetic.
There are two ways to perform the operation:
- Open colectomy: A long incision is made in the abdomen to allow the surgeon to reach in and remove the colon.
- Laparoscopic colectomy: Several small abdominal incisions and a small video camera are used; while not everyone is able to have this type of colectomy, it may involve a shorter, less painful recovery time.
The manner in which your digestive system is reconstructed after the operation depends on the kind of colectomy surgery you received. There are three types of reconstruction:
- Anastomosis: The surgeon stitches the remaining portions of your colon together, allowing you to eliminate waste normally.
- Colostomy or ileostomy: Your surgeon attaches the end of your large intestine (colostomy) or small intestine (ileostomy) to an opening created in your abdomen called a stoma; waste can be expelled from that stoma into an ostomy bag worn outside the body.
- Ileoanal anastomosis: A portion of your small intestine is used to create a pouch that connects to your anus, allowing you to eliminate waste fairly normally. This may be done if you received a proctocolectomy.
What Should I Expect After a Colectomy?
After surgery is completed, you will spend between 1 and 5 days in the hospital to allow your digestive system to heal. During this time, you will receive liquid nutrition intravenously, and in time, slowly transition into consuming clear liquids and then solid food. You will also be instructed by medical staff on how to adjust to your reconstructed digestive system.
Once you return home, colectomy recovery may take 4 to 6 weeks. During this time, it is generally advised that you:
- Avoid straining to have a bowel movement
- Do not submerge your wounds in a tub or other body of water
- Avoid strenuous activity, such as lifting heavy weights or climbing
- Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water per day
- Eat a low-residue diet that limits fiber and other foods that will remain undigested and make up stool
Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on what activities to limit, how to limit them, and when you can return to normal activities. You may also be given medication to treat pain and prevent blood clots, infections, and constipation.
The risks associated with a colectomy are based on your general health, the type of colectomy you have, and whether or not you have an open or laparoscopic colectomy. Potential colectomy risks include:
- Internal bleeding
- Leaks in the reconnected areas of the colon
- Tears in the sutures that reconnect the colon
- Deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in the legs)
- Pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs)
- Bowel obstruction caused by scar tissue from the surgery
- Injury to bladder, small intestines, and other nearby organs
Call your healthcare provider if you experience redness, bleeding, odor or drainage near the incision, as they can be signs of an infection. Notify a doctor if you experience the following colectomy side effects:
- Increasing pain
- Abdominal swelling
- Pain that does not dissipate with medication
- Inability to pass stool 2-3 days after surgery
If you have serious colon disease, a colectomy may be a permanent cure for your illness.
To make an appointment with a colorectal surgeon in Roswell, call (678) 496-2566 or contact Dr. Gail Ravello online.
Natural Medical Solutions Wellness Center
Address490 Sun Valley Drive
Roswell, GA 30076
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Tue: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Wed: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Thu: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Fri: 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Sat: 9:00 am - 2:00 pm