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A colectomy is the removal of part or all of the colon depending on the nature of the disease. This is useful for removal of large intestine for cancer or other diseases.Click here to watch a clinical video
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Laparoscopic Colectomy: What You Need to Know
Colectomy refers to the removal of a part of or the entire colon depending on the nature of the ailment. The laparoscopic colectomy surgery aids in the removal of large intestine for several diseases. Variant ailments like diverticular disease (the outward extension of colon wall pouches, adenomatous polyps (mucusa led growths), crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel, can all be treated with the help of colectomy.
1. What is the procedure?
Earlier colectomy entailed the making of a large incision by the surgeon in your abdomen to remove the affected bowel area. The laparoscopic approach however involves:
- The making of little incisions in your abdominal area
- Use of camera to provide a high-resolution image of your organ, to the surgeon
- Joining of cut ends after surgery
Also known as the “keyhole” surgery, the laparoscopic colon removal surgery has some advantages over open surgeries and these benefits include:
- Less post operative pain
- Earlier discharge
- Faster recovery time
- Early bounce back to bowel function
- Minimal scars
- Quicker return to regular diet
- Improved cosmetic healing
3. Appropriate For
Colonoscopy is recommended for people when they:
- Have diverticular disease
- chron’s disease
- Already have polyps
Those who are experiencing common symptoms like mucus or blood in the stool, abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea, must consult the surgeon.
People, suffering from advanced bowel cancers, adhesions from previous surgeries or have their cancer located low in the pelvis, are not suitable for the laparoscopic approach.
4. Before surgery
Prior to the surgery, your doctor will perform a thorough physical examination. You will be informed if further tests are required such as chest x-ray, EKG, blood tests etc.
You would need to clean your bowel (of stool) before the surgery with an enema which we will provide. The patient might be required to stop taking some regular medicines after consultation with the surgeon.
Under normal circumstances, it might take around 6 to 10 weeks to heal completely from this surgery. You might leave the hospital after you are able to have regular diet, passing urine and gas, walking short distances and are not showing any sign of fever or other complications
6. After care
You need to follow the guidelines specified by your doctor post surgery. There are no strict dietary regulations, but avoid food that might trigger digestive problems or diarrhea. Call your surgeon if you have diarrhea lasting for more than 3 days or have redness around the incision. Continuous nausea or vomiting should also be reported.
7. Risk & complications
Some of the inherent complications associated with laparoscopic colectomy surgery are heart attack or pneumonia, unfavorable reaction to anesthesia, bowel leakage and abdominal bleeding, injury to other organs and intestinal obstruction.
One of the most significant advantages of undergoing this surgery is that the source of bowel infection is removed. It aids in the improvement of bowel problems. The patient undergoes minimum post operative pain and can resume daily activities faster than what would have been in the case of open surgeries.
9. What’s next
Short walks are encouraged from right after the day of surgery. You can climb upstairs with someone’s help. Showers are permitted after 2 days while driving after 2 weeks. If you have a physically demanding job, do not return before 5-6 weeks. With the right diet and medicines you will be able to bounce back to normal life in no time.