Understanding the Purpose and Procedure of Colectomy
Colectomy is a surgical procedure involving removing part or all of the Colon. It is mainly performed for patients diagnosed with cancer.
In this blog, we’re here to delve into the intricacies of Colectomy. We will highlight its significance as a powerful tool in managing colon-related conditions.
So let’s begin.
What is Colectomy?
Colectomy is a common procedure performed on patients with Colon Cancer. In this procedure, a small part of the Colon (large intestine) is removed with surgery. The primary reason for this surgical Procedure is to treat Cancer.
Colectomy can be classified into 4 Categories, depending on the removed region.
- Right or Left Hemicolectomy: The procedure involves removing the intestine from either the right or left side.
- Transverse Colectomy: The Procedure that involves the removal of the central part of the intestine
- Total Colectomy: It’s the Procedure in which a doctor removes the whole large intestine.
- Subtotal Colectomy: It’s the Procedure in which a doctor removes 3/4th of your large intestine. The remaining part of the large intestine will fuse with the small intestine via Anastomosis.
Understanding different Cancers and relevant Colectomy procedures
Each Colectomy procedure differs from another in some way. The doctor performs any of them, depending on the location and type of Cancer.
Right Hemicolectomy: If Cancer is present in the Caecum ( the meeting point of the Small and Large intestines), appendix, or the ascending Colon (first 1/3rd of the Colon), your doctor might recommend Right Hemicolectomy.
During the Procedure, the doctor will remove the ascending colon and proximal 1/3rd of the transverse Colon. As the blood supply for all these regions is the same, all of them have to be removed.
Extended Right Hemicolectomy: If the Cancer has spread ahead of the 1/3rd and less than 2/3rd of the ascending Colon, an Extended Right Hemicolectomy might be required.
Transverse Colectomy: If the patient has Cancer in the Transverse Colon, Transverse Colectomy is the only option. During this Procedure, the doctor removes the whole Transverse Colon.
Left Hemicolectomy: Hemicolectomy is performed if the Cancer is present in the Descending Colon or Splenic flexure.
Subtotal Hemicolectomy: Individuals at a higher risk of developing Colon cancer due to a family history of having too many polyps in the intestine are suitable candidates for the Procedure.
Patients with FAP Syndrome or HNPCC Syndrome are suitable candidates for Subtotal Hemicolectomy.
What changes will the patient experience after the Colectomy?
Colectomy is a surgical procedure. So after the Procedure, patients will experience some changes in their bodies. Let’s understand these changes in more detail:
- Right Hemicolectomy: During the Right Hemicolectomy, your right Colon, along with your appendix and cecum, is removed. This region contains a non-return valve between the small and large intestines.
Right, Hemicolectomy eliminates this mechanism, resulting in some changes. These changes include a change in absorption, gut flora, and bowel movement. This might result in you wanting to go to motion more frequently. In most cases, the absorption rate normalizes after a certain period.
- Transverse Colectomy: After the Transverse Colectomy as your valve remains intact after the Procedure. Moreover, the Colon and rectum that manages the storage function also stay intact.
So you will experience little change. The only issue will be the low rate of absorption. This will result in fluid loss. But this can be compensated by staying hydrated.
- Left Hemicolectomy: In this Procedure, your last 1/3rd or the descending Colon that stores and thickens the stool is removed. You might have to go to motion multiple times and experience loose motions too.
- Total Colectomy: As the whole Colon is removed during this Procedure, you will experience many changes in your body. You will have to go to motion 7-8 times a day, and the absorption rate will be reduced drastically.
In short, the effects of the Colectomy on your body vary widely, depending on the region where the Procedure is performed.
Colectomy is a life-saving procedure that can significantly impact a person’s health and well-being. Colectomy can be a viable solution to help you get back to good health.
Educating yourself on the different types of Colectomies, the potential risks and benefits, and the recovery process are important if you or a loved one is considering a Colectomy. By working closely with your healthcare provider, you can make an informed decision about your unique situation’s best course of action.
If you need more information on Colectomy, feel free to reach out to us. We are always here to assist.