Colectomy is a surgical procedure to remove all or part of your colon. Your colon, part of your large intestine, is a long tubelike organ at the end of your digestive tract. Colectomy may be necessary to treat or prevent diseases and conditions that affect your colon.There are various types of colectomy operations:
- Total colectomy involves removing the entire colon
- Partial colectomy involves removing part of the colon and may also be called subtotal colectomy.
- Hemicolectomy involves removing the right or left portion of the colon.
- Proctocolectomy involves removing both the colon and rectum.
Colectomy is used to treat and prevent diseases and conditions that affect the colon, such as:
Colectomy carries a risk of serious complications. Your risk of complications is based on your general health, the type of colectomy you undergo and the approach your surgeon uses to perform the operation.
In general, complications of colectomy can include:
After surgery you'll be taken to a recovery room to be monitored as the anesthesia wears off. Then your health care team will take you to your hospital room to continue your recovery.
You'll stay in the hospital until you regain bowel function. This may take a couple of days to a week.
You may not be able to eat solid foods at first. You might receive liquid nutrition through a vein, often in your arm, and then transition to drinking clear liquids. As your intestines recover, you can eventually add solid foods.
If your surgery involved a colostomy or ileostomy to attach your intestine to the outside of your abdomen, you'll meet with an ostomy nurse who will show you how to care for your stoma. The nurse will explain how to change the ostomy bag that will collect waste.
Once you leave the hospital, expect a couple of weeks of recovery at home. You may feel weak at first, but eventually your strength will return. Ask your doctor when you can expect to get back to your normal routine.