A Bowel resection is a procedure that is performed to remove any part of the bowel including the small intestine, large intestine, or rectum. Also known as Partial Colectomy, this surgery is used to treat blockages or diseases of the large intestine. Conditions and diseases related to bowel are very serious and can even put your life at risk. They keep the rectum or colon from doing their job causing pain and discomfort.
When is Partial Colectomy recommended?
A Partial Colectomy is recommended because of one of the following reasons:
Depending on the location and size of the cancer, the amount of bowel has to be removed. Generally, it is 1/3rd to 1/4th of the colon. Nearby lymph nodes will also be taken out.
In some cases, the intestine gets blocked thus restricting the flow of food and liquid. This results in the death of the tissues due to the blocked blood supply.
This is a complication in which there is severe inflammation or infection in the bowel.
- Crohn’s disease
At first, it is treated with medications. If this doesn’t work, then a part of the colon must be removed to provide relief. However, this procedure is not a cure for the Crohn’s disease as about 20% of the patients had a recurrence 2 years of the surgery.
If your bowel wouldn’t stop bleeding, that section of the intestine might have to be removed.
Bowel Resection Surgeries
What kind of surgery you will be having depends on your condition. The size and location of the damaged colon also factors into the decision. In some cases, the type of the surgery has to be changed in the middle of the procedure.
There are 3 ways in which a Partial Colectomy can be performed:
- Open resection
After making one long cut on the belly, the doctor will use his tools to cut out the affected part of the intestine.
- Laparoscopic resection
In this, 2 to 4 small incisions are made to insert a thin tube with a tiny camera attached to it. This equipment is called a laparoscope. The device sends a picture to the monitor of the abdomen. Then other incisions are used by the doctor for inserting the tools and removing a part of the intestine.
- Robot-assisted laparoscopic resection
In this, the laparoscope is attached to the robots which, in turn, are controlled by the doctors to perform the surgery.
Before the Surgery
- Ask your doctor about the medications that you need to stop taking in order to prepare for this surgery. Such medications might include aspirin, naproxen, warfarin, clopidogrel, and ibuprofen.
- If you have any medical condition or bleeding disorder, discuss it with your doctor.
- A thorough colon cleansing must be performed before the surgery so that all the waste from the region is removed.
- The patient must be on an all liquid diet and self-administer enema before the procedure.
- The day before the procedure, do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
- Do not smoke as it will hinder your recovery process.
During the surgery
Partial colectomy is a major surgery that is carried out using general anesthesia so you won’t anything during the surgery. During the procedure, your large intestine will be detached from their surrounding tissues and organs. Next, the diseased or damaged part of the bowel will be cut and removed and the healthy ends of the intestine will be reconnected using sutures or tiny staples.
In some cases, an additional colostomy has to be performed in which an opening in the skin or stoma is created to that the feces can be passed into the bag. This is done only if there is an issue that might not allow the intestine’s ends to heal properly. However, these are temporary and the patient might need a second surgery after 6 to 12 weeks.
After the surgery
- You will have to spend a few days in the hospital so that you can regain bowel function.
- There will be soreness in the lower abdomen for 24 to 48 hours after the surgery.
- Walking is encouraged.
- Patients must follow a liquid diet after surgery and switch to solid foods once the intestines have recovered.