More than 600,000 colon surgeries are performed in the U.S. every year, many of them resection procedures to remove part or all of the colon. Also known as a colectomy, a Fountain Valley colon resection surgery is indicated for the treatment of a wide range of diseases and conditions, including colorectal cancer, ulcerative colitis and sigmoid diverticulitis. Any part of the colon with or without the rectum may be removed during one of these procedures depending on the goal of treatment and the severity of the disease or condition being treated.
Did you know the colon is approximately five feet long and three inches in diameter? Unlike the small intestine, which is responsible for absorbing nutrients, the large intestine is primarily responsible for absorbing water from waste. While it plays an important role in the body, it is not an essential organ. A patient can still lead a relatively normal life with part or all of the colon removed.
The goal of both open and laparoscopic colon resection is the same, but the technique could not be more different. Open surgery requires a large abdominal incision and may take several weeks or even months to fully recover from. Patients who undergo laparoscopic colon resection in Fountain Valley, however, typically experience shorter hospital stays, less post-operative pain, a lower risk of complications and an expedited recovery time. Laparoscopic surgery has also been show to significantly reduce the rate of post-surgical obstructions in the small bowel.
Colon resection procedures typically take between 1 and 4 hours to complete. They are administered in an inpatient setting under general anesthesia. During laparoscopic surgery, a series of small incisions are made in the abdomen through which a small lighted camera and several other surgical instruments are inserted. The abdomen is filled with gas to allow for better viewing of the treatment site. The diseased portion of the bowel is then removed along with any surrounding lymph nodes your surgeon may be concerned about. If you have open surgery, the entire operation will be performed through a large abdominal incision – usually 6 to 8 inches long.
You can expect to spend several days in the hospital immediately following surgery. The length of your stay may vary between 3 and 7 days or more depending on your health, the type of surgery performed and the amount of large intestine removed from the body. You may also need to follow a liquid diet at first, gradually adding solids as the bowels begin to function again. Most Fountain Valley colectomies are very successful, with patients making a full recovery free of any serious complications.