Laparoscopic Colon Resection Surgery Patient Information from SAGES

About Convention Colon Surgery…

Each year, more than 600,000 surgical procedures are performed in the United States to treat a number of colon diseases. Patients undergo colon surgery for a number of conditions including: colorectal cancer, polyps, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis), colonic inertia, stricture of the colon and diverticulitis surgery to remove all or part of your colon is known as colectomy.

Traditional “open” colon surgery procedures may require a single long abdominal incision. Traditional surgery results in an average hospital stay of a week or more and usually 6 weeks of recovery. Less invasive options are available to many patients facing colon surgery. The most common of these is laparoscopic surgery, in which smaller incisions are used.

What is the Colon?

The colon is the large intestine; it is the lower part of your digestive tract. The intestine is a long, tubular organ consisting of the small intestine, the colon (large intestine) and the rectum, which is the last part of the colon. After food is swallowed, it begins to be digested in the stomach and then empties into the small intestine, where the nutritional part of the food is absorbed. The remaining waste moves through the colon to the rectum and is expelled from the body. The colon and rectum absorb water and hold the waste until you are ready to expel it.

What is Laparoscopic Colon Resection?

A technique known as minimally invasive laparoscopic colon surgery allows surgeons to perform many common colon procedures through small incisions. Depending on the type of procedure, patients may leave the hospital in a few days and return to normal activities more quickly than patients recovering from open surgery.

In most laparoscopic colon resections, surgeons operate through 4 or 5 small openings (each about a quarter inch) while watching an enlarged image of the patient’s internal organs on a television monitor. In some cases, one of the small openings may be lengthened to 2 or 3 inches to complete the procedure.

What are the Advantages of Laparoscopic Colon Resection?

Results may vary depending upon the type of procedure and patient’s overall condition. Common advantages are:

  • Less postoperative pain
  • May shorten hospital stay
  • May result in a faster return to solid-food diet
  • May result in a quicker return of bowel function
  • Quicker return to normal activity
  • Improved cosmetic results

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This brochure is intended to provide a general overview of a surgery. It is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional medical care or a discussion between you and your surgeon about the need for a surgery. Specific recommendations may vary among health care professionals. If you have a question about your need for a surgery, your alternatives, billing or insurance coverage, or your surgeons training and experience, do not hesitate to ask your surgeon or his/her office staff about it. If you have questions about the operation or subsequent follow up, discuss them with your surgeon before or after the operation.