Lower Intestine Removal - Open Incision

This surgery involves the removal of all or part of the large intestine through an incision in the abdomen.

This surgery involves the removal of all or part of the large intestine through an incision in the abdomen.

A lower intestine removal involves the removal (or resection) of all or part of the large intestine (colon) through an incision in the abdomen. The two loose ends are then sewn together so stool can pass through to the rectum. It is also known as a total or partial colectomy.

  • The main function of the large intestine is to extract water from undigested food (stool or feces). It also stores the stool until it leaves the body through the anus.
  • This surgery may be done because parts of the large intestine have become blocked, injured or diseased. In this case, a resection is usually done to remove the unhealthy part of the intestine and sew the two healthy ends together.
  • Sometimes there is no healthy tissue to allow the surgeon to sew the ends of the bowel together. In this case, a loose end of the large intestine is brought out of the body through a hole made in the abdomen (a stoma). This is called a colostomy. A colostomy can be temporary (to give the large intestine time to heal) or permanent (when the rectum and/or a large amount of the large intestine are removed).

An open resection of your large intestine may be recommended if you have:

  • A blockage that cannot be removed or a hole in the intestine
  • Severe disease of the large intestine (infection, inflammation, bleeding or twisting of the bowel)
  • Tumors or growths in the large intestine (benign or cancerous)
  • An injury to the large intestine

There are times when the surgeon may be able to perform the surgery through a laparoscope. In those cases, the diseased part of the large intestine is removed using small medical instruments and a camera inserted into three or four small cuts in the abdomen. Prior to surgery, tell your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking (including over-the-counter medications and supplements). Ask about specific instructions you should follow before surgery. These may include:

  • Medications you should not take before the surgery, such as blood thinners
  • Regular medications you should continue to take on the day of your surgery
  • How many hours you should stop eating and drinking before surgery

If you are a smoker, you should quit smoking, as it can interfere with your recovery.

General anesthesia is the most common type of anesthesia for an open removal of the large intestine. This is where you are put into a deep sleep and are unable to see, hear or feel anything. After the surgery, your nurse will help you get out of bed as soon as possible. This can decrease the risk of post-operative complications, such as blood clots and infection.

  • After two or three days, you may be started on clear liquids. You will usually be able to eat solid food when your bowels start to work again.
  • You will need to stay in the hospital for about a week after surgery.
  • Do not forget to arrange for transportation to and from the facility.
  • Pain medication and help at home may be needed while you recover.

What should I ask my healthcare provider before having a resection of my large intestine?

  • What are my treatment options? What are the benefits and risks of each treatment option? Are there less invasive treatment options for me? Are there any alternatives to surgery?
  • How many large intestine resection surgeries have you done? What have the results been on patients like me? What complications have they had?
  • I would like a second opinion. Will you help me to arrange one?
  • How much of my large intestines will you be removing? Will I need to have a colostomy bag after surgery?
  • How long do I need to fast before the surgery? Is there any other special preparation for the surgery? (If so, get clear instructions on what you need to do.)
  • What kind of sedation or anesthesia will be used? What are the possible side effects?
  • What are the possible complications to this surgery, how will I feel after the surgery, and will I have to modify my activities?

After your surgery, you should know what symptoms you should report to your healthcare provider. Make sure you also understand all home care instructions (including medications and side effects) and follow-up plans.

Source UHC.com

Also known as:

Lower Intestine Removal - Open Incision
Large Intestine Removal
Colon Removal

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