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When You May Need to Consider Removing Your Colon

Large bowel resection, or surgery to remove all or part of your colon, is performed to treat serious colon disease that threatens your overall health. The surgery is often done in response to colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, or diverticulitis. 

At Lakeland Surgical Clinic, PLLC, our team recommends removing your colon as a preventive measure and treatment. Here’s when you may consider this major surgical procedure.

Uncontrolled bleeding

If you have severe bleeding from the colon due to a disease of this organ, the affected portion may need to be removed. Severe internal hemorrhoids, diverticulitis, anal fissures, and colon cancers are possible causes. 

Colon cancer

If your colon cancer has been caught early, you may only need the small, affected section removed to prevent metastasis. Later stage colon cancer that’s infiltrated more of your colon may require total removal. 

Bowel obstruction

Bowel obstruction is an emergency. It may require total or partial removal of the colon to prevent potentially fatal complications. 

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are two primary types of IBD. When you have an IBD, you may experience unbearable symptoms associated with an inflamed colon. These include unintentional weight loss, cramping, and severe diarrhea. 

If conservative treatments, like medications and dietary changes, aren’t successful in easing your symptoms, removal of the diseased portion of your colon may be the best treatment. 

IBD can also cause cancerous changes in your colon, warranting removal.

Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is small pouches on the lining of your digestive system that become infected and inflamed. Dietary changes, rest, and antibiotics are used to treat this condition. If conservative measures fail, you may need the affected part of your colon removed. 

Colon cancer risk

People who have a high risk of colon cancer, either due to family history, a personal history of multiple precancerous polyps, or Lynch syndrome may consider a colectomy as a preventive measure. 

What happens during colon removal surgery?

A full or partial colectomy is performed while you’re under general anesthesia. The procedure may be done as traditional open surgery, involving a long incision in your abdomen, or laparoscopically, using several small incisions and a special tiny video camera (laparoscope) and tiny instruments. 

Our team at Lakeland Surgical Clinic, PLLC is also the only provider in the area to use the da Vinci® Surgical System. The revolutionary surgical robotic system uses a minimally invasive approach with enhanced precision and effective results. 

The type of surgery you undergo depends on your particular case.

After your colon or part of your colon has been removed, our team reconnects the digestive system so you can expel waste. That may involve rejoining any remaining portions of your colon, connecting your intestine to an opening in your abdomen, or connecting your small intestine to your anus. 

If you have your intestine attached to an opening in your abdomen, you’ll need to wear a colostomy bag. We talk you through each option and discuss which is best for you. 

What is recovery like following surgery?

Following surgery, you’ll need to stay in the hospital for a few days and up to a week until your bowel function resumes. We help you transition your diet to adapt to your post-surgical digestive system. You’ll likely be on a liquid or even intravenous nutrition at first until you transition fully to solid foods. 

It will take several weeks or months for you to fully recover. We help you along the way, so the transition is as smooth and quick as possible.

The team at Lakeland Surgical Clinic, PLLC, has provided residents in the Jackson, Mississippi, area with the most advanced surgical technology available. If you need a colectomy or other general surgery, call today for a consultation or use the online tool to schedule your appointment.

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