Colon Surgery / Colorectal surgery
When a diseased portion of the colon must be removed, that removal is known as colon resection or colectomy. Colon surgery is performed for both benign (diverticulitis) and malignant (cancer) diseases. The need for colon surgery is usually determined by findings during a colonoscopy or during any of several radiologic examinations of the colon such as a barium enema or CT scan. Because the colon is by its very nature a contaminated organ, all elective colon resections are preceded by a thorough cleansing of the colon known as a bowel prep. This is done at home during the two-day period preceding surgery. It usually involves a combination of a liquid diet and several oral cathartics.
The amount of colon removed depends on the extent of the underlying disease process, but in many cases 1/3 or less of the colon’s total length is removed. When operating for malignancy, a portion of colon containing the tumor is removed along with the adjacent attachments which contain lymph nodes. The microscopic examination of the lymph nodes is an essential part of staging colon malignancies. All subsequent treatment is based upon this staging.
In the past all colon surgeries were done by way of sizable abdominal incisions necessary for the proper exposure of the various attachments of the colon. The surgeons at Stafford Surgical Specialists have had extensive training in the laparoscopic approach to colon resection for appropriate indications. This method still requires an incision to actually remove the colon but because the mobilization of the colon is all done laparoscopically, and the incision is much smaller (approximately 3-4cm). This results in less discomfort, shorter hospital stay, and better cosmesis. The laparoscopic approach to colon surgery is particularly attractive for patients with diverticulitis (infected or inflamed pouches of the colon). Your surgeon will discuss with you which approach will be most beneficial for your particular circumstance.
The surgeons at Stafford Surgical Specialists are well-trained and experienced in the area of laparoscopic colon surgery. Our thorough evaluation of your condition will help you decide what, if any, surgery might be appropriate for you.