Our Center for Intestinal & Colorectal Surgery treat benign and malignant conditions and perform routine screening examinations. A colectomy is an operation to remove part or all of your colon. It’s also called colon resection surgery. You may need a colectomy if part or all of your colon has stopped working or if it has an incurable condition that endangers other parts. Common reasons include colon cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases.
The preferred approach for colon and rectal cancer resection is laparoscopic colorectal surgery using advanced techniques. It is proven to be equivalent to traditional surgery for treating colon cancer. In addition, this minimally invasive surgical option provides patients with a faster return of bowel function, reduced postoperative pain and improved cosmetic results.
Open vs. laparoscopic surgery
Colectomy may be performed by traditional open surgery or by minimally-invasive laparoscopic surgery.
- Open surgery means opening up your abdominal cavity through one long incision. This method provides the most accessible access to your organs and may be necessary when your case is more complicated or when emergency surgery is required.
- Laparoscopic and robotic surgery is performed through several small incisions, using the aid of a tiny video camera called a laparoscope. If you have a laparoscopic/robotic colectomy, your surgeon will begin with a single small incision used to place the laparoscope. Then carbo dioxide gas is pumped through the incision to inflate your abdominal cavity for better visibility. A camera is then placed, which will project your organs onto a video screen. One or more additional small incisions will give your surgeon special tools to access your colon.
Colon( Large Intestine) resection variations
You may need all or only part of your colon ( Large Intestine) removed. Operations to remove different sections of the colon have different names.
A total colectomy removes your entire large intestine. It begins at the end of your small intestine and ends at your rectum, the tail end of the large intestine that leads into the anal canal.
A subtotal or partial colectomy removes a portion of your large intestine. Your operation may go by a more specific name that references the section of your colon removed. For example:
- Sigmoid colectomy. A sigmoid colectomy, or sigmoidectomy, removes the last section of your colon, known as the sigmoid colon. The sigmoid is the part that connects to your rectum.
- Hemicolectomy. A hemicolectomy removes one side of your colon. A left-side hemicolectomy removes your descending colon, the section that travels downward on the left. A right-side hemicolectomy removes your ascending colon, the section that travels upward on the right side. This is roughly the first half of your colon.
- Proctocolectomy. A proctocolectomy removes part or all of the colon and the rectum. “Procto” means rectum. (A total proctocolectomy removes the entire colon and rectum.)