Colectomy -- Open Surgery
This is a procedure 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 the colon is removed. In a total colectomy, all of the colon is removed. ColonCopyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor if any of the following occurs:
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, warmth, drainage, or bulging at the incision site
- Nausea and/or vomiting that you cannot control with the medications you were given after surgery
- Severe abdominal pain
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
- Pain and/or swelling in your feet, calves, or legs
- Pain, burning, urgency, frequency of urination, or persistent bleeding in the urine
- Not passing any stool
- Blood in your stool, or black, tarry stools
- Feeling weak or lightheaded
If you had a colostomy created, call your doctor if any of the following occurs:
- Not collecting stool in the ostomy pouch
- The skin around the stoma appears irritated, moist, red, swollen, or develops sores
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
This is a procedure 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 the colon is removed. In a total colectomy, all of the colon is removed.
Colon Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
What to Expect
Reasons for Procedure
A colectomy may be done to treat a variety of conditions, including:
- Colorectal cancer
Inflammatory intestinal diseases such as
- Intestinal blockage
- Trauma to the intestine
- Diverticular disease
—small pouches in the wall of the colon
- Precancerous polyps, especially those seen in familial polyposis
- A hole in the bowel wall, or a dead piece of bowel
- Bleeding from the colon
For colon cancer, the goal is to remove all of the cancer. If you have a precancerous condition, then you may have prevented the development of cancer. If you had surgery due to other conditions, a successful operation will alleviate or improve your symptoms.
Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
- Damage to other organs or structures
at the incision site
- Blood clots
- Complications from general anesthesia
Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications such as:
- Chronic diseases, such as diabetes or obesity