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.
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