What is Colon Surgery?
Colon surgery is the use of any surgical procedures to treat a problem in the colon. Common conditions that can be treated using colon surgery include inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), following a colon (intestinal) infection, and colon cancer.
A colectomy is a type of colon surgery. In a colectomy, a portion of the colon is removed to treat a condition or stop the spread of cancer in the colon.
In most colon surgeries, but not all, it is possible to reconnect the intestine and reinstate normal bowel function for the patient. If normal bowel function cannot be regained, the doctor will discuss the possible solutions with the patient.
Who Needs Colon Surgery?
Colon surgery can be used to treat any number of gastrointestinal conditions. Common uses of colon surgery as treatment include cases of colon cancer and chronic diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and Crohn’s disease. Ultimately, the patient will make a decision with their gastroenterologist and colon surgeon about the appropriate treatment options for their specific case.
Who Performs Colon Surgery?
A GI, or colon surgeon will perform all colon surgeries. Although your gastroenterologist does not perform colon surgery, they often work very closely with your colon surgeon to discuss your specific case and treatment plan.
What Should I Do to Prepare for my Colon Surgery?
Your doctor will discuss specific preparations that you should make before your colon surgery. Common steps include:
- “Clean out” your bowels- you will be given a laxative solution to drink that helps you to empty your colon the day before surgery.
- Fasting- you will be given specific instructions but often must stop eating and drinking up to a day before the procedure.
- Stop taking certain medications- talk to your doctor about all medications that you are taking. Some may increase your risk of complications during the procedure.
- Take antibiotics- in some cases, you may be prescribed antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection.
- Plan for your hospital stay
Make sure that you bring all questions and concerns to your doctor, and follow their instructions carefully before your procedure.