Colon surgery or colectomy is the most common procedure performed to remove the cancer cells. It is the surgical resection of all or part of the large intestine. It is also called large bowel resection. Colectomy is performed under general anesthesia by open surgery method or by laparoscopic method. The procedure takes about 1 to 4 hours.
In this technique a single large incision of about 6 inches is made in the lower abdominal wall. The diseased part of the colon is removed and the healthy ends are sutured. If no healthy large intestine is left, an opening or a small incision called a stoma is created on the abdominal wall. The open end of the large intestine is stitched to the skin of the outer wall of the abdomen. Wastes will pass through this opening into a bag that is attached outside the body. This procedure is called colostomy.
It is a minimally invasive technique where several small incisions are made rather than one large incision. Three to five small incisions are made on the lower abdomen. A laparoscope, a telescopic video camera is used to see the inside of the abdomen, is inserted through an incision. Small surgical instruments are passed through other 2 incisions and colon is removed. Carbon dioxide (CO2) gas is filled in the lower abdomen and expanded for easy access and the diseased part of the colon is removed. The healthy ends are reattached and all the incisions are closed with the sutures.
Complications of colectomy procedure may include, but are not limited to infection at the site operated, bleeding, and damage to nearby organs.