Also known as: colon removal, total colectomy, partial colectomy.

What is a colectomy?

Colectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of all or part of the colon. This may be necessary to prevent or treat severe diseases of the colon.

What happens during the procedure?

The precise nature of a colectomy will vary based on the severity of the condition. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia, and the colon or a portion of the colon is removed. This may be done with an open procedure or in a minimally invasive manner with a laparoscope. Then the remaining portions of intestine are stitched back together or to another opening in the body, and the incisions are closed.

Is any special preparation needed?

The patient will typically need to avoid food, drink and certain medications prior to the procedures. The body will also need to be free of stool before the procedure. This is typically taken care of with a laxative or an enema.

What are the risk factors?

Bleeding, infection, injury to surrounding organs and tissues and blood clots are all potential risks of a colectomy.

Reviewed by: Juan L Calisto, MD

This page was last updated on: November 11, 2020 03:02 PM

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