Colectomy is a certain surgical procedure which involves removing a part or all of the large intestine or colon. The procedure is necessary in some cases of intestinal diseases and disorders. Some of such disorders include bowel blockage which requires a prompt medical care, perforation of the bowel, injury of the bowel, intestinal cancer, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disorder. Your doctor may recommend colectomy as a preventive measure if the patient is at risk of colon cancer.
There are different types of colectomy procedures. Colectomy refers to removal of whole colon and hemicolectomy refers to removal of only one part of the colon. Proctocolectomy is a surgical removal of the colon and rectum. Colectomy involves other methods in order to retain the proper function of your intestines. The surgeon will have to make an opening for the intestine on the wall of the abdomen in order for waste to be eliminated from the body. Such additional procedures includes ileostomy in which an opening is made on the small intestine through the wall of the abdomen and colostomy in which an artificial passage is created for the colon.
Every surgery carries certain risks and so does colectomy. Complications may depend on the type of the surgical procedure and your overall health. The most common complications of colectomy are infection, bleedings, blood clots or injuries of other organs. Blood clots can appear in the legs or lungs. As far as injuries are concerned, surrounding organs which are part of the digestive tract may be affected by colectomy.
In order to prevent risk of complications you must follow the instructions given by your doctor. Your doctor will ask you to stop taking medications because some types may cause the complications. You must not eat or drink several hours prior to the surgery but a couple days before that you may need special diet which will help you to clean your bowel. You should eat a lot of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and drink plenty of water. You may be given a laxative in order to clean the bowel. Your doctor can prescribe some antibiotics to prevent the risk of infection caused by bacteria. The infection may also be avoided if you take a shower before colectomy, because germs can be found on the skin.After colectomy you will have to stay in hospital for some time. Depending on the severity of your condition it may be a few days or weeks. You will be given liquid food replacement intravenously at first. It may take some time until you can eat solid food again. Your doctor will give you instructions regarding home treatment after you leave the hospital.