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
What does it
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
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?
with all operations there are risks associated with the procedure.
Risks associated with general anaesthetic
Anastomotic leakage – leakage at the reattachment site may lead to
abdominal pain and infection that may require a subsequent operation
What is a stoma?
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.
do require a stoma, a stoma nurse will see you to discuss stoma care in
Prior to the procedure
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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