Colectomy—Open Surgery
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings
Answers

What is Colectomy—Open Surgery?

This is an operation to remove all or part of the colon. The colon, or large intestine, is the lower part of the intestines.

In a partial colectomy, only part of your colon is removed. In a total colectomy, all of your colon is removed.

Colon
Colon
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A colectomy may be performed to treat a variety of conditions, including the following:

  • Colorectal cancer
  • Inflammatory intestinal diseases (eg, colitis , Crohn’s disease )
  • Intestinal blockage
  • Trauma to the intestine
  • Diverticular disease —small pouches form in the wall of the colon
  • Precancerous polyps, especially those seen in familial polyposis
  • A hole in the bowel wall, or dead piece of bowel
  • Bleeding from the colon

Possible Complications

If you are planning to have a colectomy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Damage to other organs or structures
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Hernia forming at the incision site
  • Blood clots
  • Complications from general anesthesia

Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  • Having neurological, heart, or lung conditions
  • Age: older than 70 years
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Previous abdominal surgery
  • Active infection

Call Your Doctor

After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge...
 
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