Colectomy is a surgical procedure to remove all or part of the colon (the large intestine). The procedure is also known as colon resection surgery, and there are three types: total, which as the name implies, is the removal of the entre colon; partial, which is the removal of part of the colon; and proctocolectomy, which involves removing both the colon and the rectum.
Colectomy surgery is performed to treat or prevent diseases and conditions that affect the colon, such as:
- Colon cancer – Early-stage cancers may require a small section of the colon to be removed. Late-stage cancers may require more of the colon to be removed.
- Uncontrollable bleeding – For severe bleeding from the colon, the affected part may be removed.
- Bowel obstruction – Depending on the extent of the blockage, a total or partial colectomy may be required.
- Crohn’s disease – When medication has proven ineffective, a doctor may recommend a partial colectomy as temporary relief from symptoms of the disease.
- Ulcerative colitis – Your doctor may recommend total colon removal if medications are not helping to control symptoms.
Colectomy can also be an option for people who have a very high risk of developing colon cancer due to precancerous colon polyps, or genetic conditions such as familial adenomatous polyposis or Lynch syndrome. As with all surgical procedures, colon resection surgery carries risks of complications that may vary depending on your overall health and which type of the surgery you undergo.
If you are experiencing warning signs that you may need colectomy surgery, the highly trained and caring team of gastrointestinal specialists at Tampa General Hospital can discuss all your options and their benefits and risks. Tampa General Hospital is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Hospitals for Gastroenterology & GI Surgery by U.S. News & World Report in 2016-17.
To learn more about colectomy surgery and find a gastroenterologist at TGH, use our Physician Finder or call 1-800-833-3627.