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A colectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of the partial section or the entire large intestine (colon). The colon is a long, tube-shaped organ at the end of the digestive tract. Colectomy surgery is necessary to treat or prevent diseases and conditions that affect the colon. There are different types of colectomy procedures: A total colectomy removes the entire large intestine. A partial colectomy, also known as a subtotal colectomy, is a procedure to remove only part of the colon. A hemicolectomy removes the right or left part of the colon, and a proctocolectomy removes both the colon and the rectum.

Who Is This For?

Colectomy is recommended as a treatment for various pathological processes. Among them, the most common are cancer, diverticulitis, intestinal obstruction, ulcerative disease such as ulcerative colitis that does not respond to treatment, etc.

Most frequent indications:

  • Colon cancer.
  • Ulcerative colitis.
  • Crohn's disease.

Treatment Duration

1-4 hours

Potential Risks & Side Effects

The colectomy procedure carries a risk of serious complications, depending on the patient's general health and the type of colectomy performed. These complications can be:

  • Bleeding
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  •  Infection
  • Injury to organs near your colon, such as the bladder and small intestine
  • Pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs)
  •  Tears in the sutures that reconnect the digestive system

Recovery Time

6 weeks

Success Rate: 95%

Alternative Treatments

  • Subtotal colectomy

How Does it Work?

Colectomy is the surgical removal or resection of a diseased part of the large intestine or colon.

The surgery aims to remove:

  •  The tumor, with sufficiently wide margins
  • The main arterial and venous vessels that nourish the intestinal segment in which the tumor is located
  • Regional lymph nodes
  • Resection can be performed conventionally or by laparoscopic surgery, with a smaller incision and a faster postoperative period.

What Does Colectomy Surgery Involve?

1.       Consultation for Colectomy

After you submit your request for information, you will take an online consultation to make sure that you are a suitable candidate for the colectomy procedure. During this consultation, your medical story will be learned in detail and you will be asked if you have had any current health condition, any allergies, any medication that you use recently, or any surgery that you have undergone before. The examination and test results will also be very useful at this consultation stage. With all of this information, we can evaluate your case individually and prepare a customized treatment plan for you.

2.       Planning Your Trip and Choosing the Clinic

This is the stage where you choose one of the clinics and surgeons that we offer you according to your criteria. Once you choose one of them, we arrange the date and trip plan that suits you upon your requests.

3.       Final Consultation with Your Surgeon

When you arrive at the clinic, you will have a face-to-face consultation with your surgeon who will perform your surgery. Everything about your colectomy surgery will be discussed between you and your surgeon during this consultation. The surgeon will try to understand your expectations better and also make you understand what you should expect from your process. At this stage, it is very important to find the answers to all the questions you have in mind about your colectomy surgery. The surgeon will explain everything as clearly as possible and try to simulate the results, in order you to feel ready and comfortable

4.       Medical Examinations

Before the surgery begins, your surgeon will conduct medical tests to make sure that you are in acceptable health status for the colectomy surgery. Every patient is required to undergo medical tests to ensure that nothing can hinder the success and results of the surgery and if any risk observed, surgeons try to eliminate them first.

5.       Surgery

A colectomy is a surgical procedure to remove all or part of the colon or large intestine. In a partial colectomy procedure, the surgeon removes only a part of the colon. The intestine is then reconnected or an opening in the intestine (ostomy) is created in the abdominal wall to allow the contents of the intestine to exit the body. A colectomy procedure may be performed by using the open or laparoscopic-assisted technique. During an open colectomy, a long incision is made in the wall of the abdomen through which doctors can view the colon. In a laparoscopic-assisted colectomy, a lighted tube with a video camera is inserted into one of several small incisions made to guide the surgery.

In the majority of cases, once the intestine is cut, the two ends are sutured end to end immediately, allowing transit through natural channels. Otherwise, more rarely, the digestive ends are blown to the skin for a certain time, and a second intervention is scheduled to restore the continuity of the intestine.


What Should I Expect from Colectomy?

You will be in the hospital for 3 to 7 days. After the second day, you will probably be able to drink clear liquids. You will be able to slowly add thicker fluids and then soft foods to your diet as your intestines begin to function again.

After a portion of the colon is removed, intestinal problems may occur. The most common problems are diarrhea, constipation, excess gas production, and dehydration. These symptoms occur because normal functions of the colon, such as fluid absorption, have not yet returned to normal. These problems can be solved with careful attention to diet and fluid intake. Be patient and progress slowly. Smaller meals produce less gas. It is better to eat at regular intervals, at least 3 times a day.

The following foods are easy to digest and can decrease the amount and frequency of diarrhea:

  • Applesauce
  • Peanut butter
  • Bananas
  • Potatoes
  • Boiled white rice
  • Donuts
  • Bread or toast
  • Sugar-free cereals (cheerios, total, corn flakes)
  • Cheese
  • Rice cream
  • Tapioca
  • Wheat cream
  • Weak teas
  • Fiber supplements (fiber wafer is best for bulk stool).
  • Yogurt
  • Marshmallows
  • Pasta


Things You Should Consider Before Colectomy Surgery

  • Two weeks before surgery, you may be asked to stop taking drugs that make it more difficult for your blood to clot. These include acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), and others.
  • Ask what drugs you should still take the day of surgery.
  • If you smoke, try to quit. Ask your provider for help.
  • Always let your provider know about any cold, flu, fever, herpes outbreak, or other illness you may have before surgery.
  • The days before the colectomy, the doctor will recommend that the patient stop taking certain medications. You also need to fast before surgery and drink a solution, such as a laxative, to clean the intestines. In some cases, your surgeon may prescribe antibiotics to avoid getting an infection.



Is Colectomy Procedure Painful?

You do not feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure due to the general anesthesia. However, postoperative pain can be experienced and to relieve this pain your surgeon will prescribe you proper pain medication.

What Are the Diseases and Conditions Treated with A Total or Partial Colectomy?

  • Bowel obstruction — It happens when the colon is blocked.
  • Intestinal perforation — The colon is torn or bleeding cannot be controlled.
  • Crohn's disease— Removal of the affected part of the colon.
  • Colon Cancer— This type of early-stage cancer may require a small section of the colon to be removed, while advanced-stage cancers may require a larger removal.
  • Lynch syndrome
  •  Precancerous polyps of the colon— They are at high risk of developing cancer.
  • Ulcerative colitis— A colectomy is required if the medications do not work.

Where Is the Colon Located?

The colon, also called the large intestine, is the portion of the digestive tract that follows the small intestine. We can distinguish three parts: The first portion of the colon rises to the right side of the abdomen (right colon). the abdomen from right to left (transverse colon). The colon finally descends to the left part of the abdomen (left colon). The very last portion of the left colon is called the sigmoid colon (or pelvic colon). The intestine continues after the sigmoid colon through the rectum.

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