Surgery is not always a cure for colon conditions, but it is the best way to alleviate discomfort and stop the spread of disease.
ABOUT THE COLON
Also known as the large intestine, the colon is the lower part of your digestive tract. When you eat food, it begins to undergo the digestive process in your stomach. The food then empties into the small intestine where nutritional elements are absorbed. The remaining waste moves through your colon to the rectum from where it is expelled from the body. The colon and rectum absorb water and hold the waste until you are ready to expel it.
ABOUT LAPAROSCOPIC COLON RESECTION
Laparoscopic colon surgery is a minimally invasive option that allows surgeons to perform common procedures through small incisions. Depending on the condition and treatment, patients may be able to leave the hospital within a few days and return to normal activities more quickly than they would from open surgery or robotic assisted.
With most laparoscopic colon resections, surgeons will operate through 4 or 5 small incisions that are each about a quarter inch long. While performing the procedure, your surgeon will watch an enlarged image of the patient’s internal organs on a television monitor.
ADVANTAGES OF LAPAROSCOPIC COLON RESECTION
Results will vary based on the patient’s condition and treatment plan. Common advantages include minimal postoperative pain, a shortened hospital stay, a quicker return to solid-food diet, improved cosmetic results, and a quicker return to daily activities.
IS LAPAROSCOPIC COLON RESECTION RIGHT FOR YOU?
Laparoscopic colon resection is not always the best option for everyone. Make sure that you obtain a thorough medical evaluation from a surgeon who is qualified in the procedure as well as a consultation with your primary care physician.
You may need to undergo an open surgery if you have a history of the following medical conditions:
- Dense scar tissue from previous abdominal surgery
- Inability for the doctor to visualize organs
- Bleeding problems
- Large tumors
Doctors use two tests to diagnose colon problems: colonoscopies and barium enemas. During a colonoscopy, your doctor will insert a soft bendable rube through the anus into the entire large intestine. During a barium enema, your doctor will flush a white “milk-shake fluid” into the rectum while conducting an X-ray. A CT scan of the abdomen, electrocardiogram (EKG), or chest X-ray may also be necessary.
PREPARING FOR SURGERY
- Before surgery, you may need to undergo blood work, a chest X-ray, a medical evaluation or EKG.
- Your surgeon will review risks and benefits of the procedure, and you will need to submit a written consent for surgery.
- Depending on your condition, you may need a blood transfusion or blood products.
- It is recommended that you shower the night before or morning of your operation.
- The rectum and colon must be completely empty before surgery, and usually, the patient must drink a special cleansing solution.
- You may be on several days of clear liquids, laxatives, and enemas prior to the operation.
- You may be prescribed an oral antibiotic.
- After midnight the night before the surgery, you should not eat or drink anything.
- Drugs such as aspirin, blood thinners, Vitamin E, and anti-inflammatory medicines should be stopped for several days to a week before the surgery.
- Quit smoking, and prepared to arrange for help that you’ll need at home.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER COLON SURGERY
After your colon surgery, it is important to follow your specific post operation instructions. Your body needs time to heal.
- Resume activity the day after surgery. This will help diminish the soreness in your muscles.
- You will be able to result your normal activities in one to two weeks’ time. These activities include showering, driving, walking up stairs, working and engaging in sexual intercourse.
- You will need to schedule a follow-up appointment within 2 weeks after your operation.