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BOWEL SURGERY

What is a Colectomy?

A colectomy is the partial or complete surgical removal of the large intestine (colon, below).  This procedure is usually performed as treatment of a tumour, inflammation or a narrowing or blockage of the bowel

 Bowel Surgery, Colectomy


What does it involve?

While under general anaesthetic, the procedure involves cutting out the affected or diseased bowel segment and then reattaching together, the remaining parts of healthy bowel.


What happens to food when part of the bowel is removed?

The large intestine functions as a passage for undigestible food while absorbing water from it to form faeces.  When part of the bowel is cut out then the passage time of undigested food matter is reduced and faeces are expelled from the anus sooner.  Since less water is being absorbed back into the body, it may make your stools softer.  Depending on how much bowel is removed, some people may also experience diarrhoea. 


Are there any complications?

As with all operations there are risks associated with the procedure. 

General Risks

  • Risks associated with general anaesthetic
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • PE/DVT

Specific

  • Anastomotic leakage – leakage at the reattachment site may lead to abdominal pain and infection that may require a subsequent operation
  • Wound breakdown
  • Stoma

What is a stoma? 

A stoma is formed after colectomy when a loop of healthy bowel is brought up through surface of the abdomen to attach to an outside bag.  Most stomas are temporary and are usually created to bypass undigested food matter away from the new join site to promote healing.  In some cases, a permanent stoma is created, which your surgeon will discuss with you prior to the procedure. 

If you do require a stoma, a stoma nurse will see you to discuss stoma care in further detail.


Prior to the procedure 

It is important that you inform the doctor/hospital of any health problems, allergies or reactions to drugs that you are aware of.  To prepare for the procedure, you will need a completely empty bowel.  Follow the preparation given to you by the staff at Dr Warrier’s surgery.

After the Operation you will be taken to the recovery room and subsequently transferred to the ward.  You will also be given pain relief if necessary and you will most likely be able to go home within a few days.   A colectomy is a major operation therefore, it is important to take things easy in the recovery period.  You are advised to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous physical activity for 4 to 6 weeks.  If you develop high fever, chills, vomiting or discharge from your wounds, please contact the surgery or the emergency department. 

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Dr Warrier, Surgery, Laparoscopy, Colonoscopy,  Endoscopy   Dr Warrier, Surgery, Laparoscopy, Colonoscopy,  Endoscopy