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Colon Surgery

Surgical removal of the colon is usually done by an open incision, although in some cases it can be carried out laparoscopically. It is considered a major operation and is sometimes needed for both benign diseases as well as carcinoma (or cancer) of the colon. Anywhere from several inches of the colon to the entire colon may need to be removed depending on the indication for the surgery.

The workup is usually done prior to the day of surgery and there is a standard bowel prep which begins 1 to 2 days prior to the surgical procedure. After the surgery you can expect to have a drainage catheter in your stomach through your nose called an NG tube. You may also have a catheter in your bladder to drain your urine.

You will usually not be able to eat for approximately 4 to 5 days after the surgery to allow the bowel time to heal. In most cases, we try to reconnect the intestine and usually will have an idea prior to the surgery of whether a colostomy is needed.

The procedure itself usually takes 1 to 2 hours, but may be longer or more complicated in certain situations. The details of the exact procedure will be explained to you prior to the actual operation, but you can anticipate staying 5 to 7 days in the hospital in most cases.


Link to the American Board of Surgery
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