Colon Removal Surgery: Partial or Total Colon Removal Surgery

The medical term for colon removal surgery is ‘colostomy,’ which pertains to the total or partial removal of the colon. The colon is part of the digestive system; its job is to siphon water and salt from solid wastes before they are flushed out of the body. It is also the gland where fermentation of unabsorbed particles, mostly bacteria, occurs.

Colostomy is performed only under the following circumstances:

  • The patient is suffering from colon cancer;
  • The patient is diagnosed with Crohn’s disease;
  • The patient has sustained intestinal obstruction;
  • The patient has birth defects affecting the digestive system; and
  • The patient has diverticulitis, an intestinal disorder wherein the tissues surrounding the colon acquired infection.

In partial colon removal surgery, an incision measuring up to 16 inches long is made on the abdomen, so that surgeons may locate the degenerative portions of the colon and cut these out. However, the most common procedure for partial removal of the colon is laparoscopic surgery, wherein only small incisions of up to 4 inches are made so that a laparoscope or minute camera may be inserted to locate the diseased areas of the colon, as the surgeon then performs the incision.

Colon Removal Surgery Recovery

After this major surgery, patients must expect bed rest for two months at most, especially if they had undergone traditional colostomy with 16-inch incisions on their abdomen.

An ostomy appliance or ostomy bag is needed by the patient to collect his or her waste. While in the recovery phase, patients must refrain from lifting heavy things, doing housework, and driving.

Temporary and Permanent Colostomies

Depending upon the severity of the patient’s condition, temporary or permanent colostomy may be advised by the doctor to treat a particular colon problem. If the problem is slight, the colostomy performed may be reversed. Permanent colostomy is prescribed for severe conditions such as colon cancer.

Also see Surgically Removing Thyroid Gland

4 thoughts on “Colon Removal Surgery: Partial or Total Colon Removal Surgery

  • April 17, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    I have just been diagnosed with diverticulosis and my stomach has been bothering every since. I’m so afraid to get part of my colon removed but I think it would be best instead of living my life in pain and fear each and every day. I guess my worse fear is the thought of losing weight and the recovery time. I am a single mom with two growing boys and they really need me.

    • April 19, 2012 at 3:59 pm

      You should not be too much worried as there are many people around the world who are living with the same condition. If you take some precaution in eating your food, most of the time you can avoid the annoying symptoms of diverticulosis. Consume more fiber foods. High fiber foods generate softer stools that require less strain to pass. Bread, cereals such as oatmeal, bran, apples, pears, potato, spinach, squash etc are beneficial. Also avoid processed foods.

  • January 20, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    I have polyps in my colon. Many of them were removed with colonoscopy except one large polyp. They are found to be benign. Now I am confused whether the polyp has to be removed partly through follow up colonoscopy or a part of colon needs resection.

    • January 21, 2014 at 9:57 am

      A large polyp may cause obstruction in colon if it is not dealt with. However, it is upon the doctor and you to decide whatever best is necessary to deal with the condition. Your doctor may recommend the best way to deal with the condition.


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