Colon resection – indications and methods of surgery

The human intestine consists of several departments that perform certain functions. This organ is susceptible to many diseases. The colon is particularly susceptible to stress. Many of her diseases are treated surgically, including resection, in which the organ is completely removed.

Purpose of the operation and forecast

The purpose of intestinal resection is to remove a small portion of it, for example, the colon and then staple the remaining parts (anastomosis). The outcome of the operation depends on many factors. The forecast is affected by the following:

  • a disease that caused the colon to be removed;
  • type of resection;
  • the success of the operation itself;
  • physical well-being of a person in the postoperative period;
  • complications during and after surgery;
  • patient compliance with the rules of rehabilitation after surgery.


”Resection of the large intestine is often required by older people. They are more likely to have atherosclerosis of the intestinal vessels and cancerous tumors. The condition is complicated by existing diseases of the kidneys, heart, lungs. Because of them, the risk of complications with intestinal pathologies is much higher.”

General indications for colon removal:

  • necrosis (gangrene);
  • malignant or benign tumors;
  • “Inversion” (nodule formation);
  • intussusception;
  • intestinal obstruction;
  • colon thrombosis;
  • diverticulitis;
  • severe adhesive disease.

Full resection

The operation to remove the colon can be carried out in two ways. The first is a complete resection of this intestine. Indications for such an operation:

  • hereditary colorectal cancer;
  • intestinal infarction;
  • Crohn’s disease;
  • ulcerative colitis;
  • bleeding and perforated ulcer;
  • perforation or cancer;
  • diverticulitis;
  • polyps.

Removal of part of the intestine

With partial resection, only the part of the intestine affected by the tumor is removed: direct, sigmoid, blind, colon. Indications for such an operation are:

  • diverticulosis;
  • abdominal injuries;
  • tumors that damage the large intestine;
  • chronic ulcerative lesions of the mucous membranes of the intestinal walls;
  • congenital malformations;
  • inflammatory bowel disease;
  • acute intestinal obstruction.

How does colon removal occur?

Regardless of the method, the resection is divided into two main stages. First, the colon is removed. Then the doctor performs an anastomosis. Its type is selected after removal of the organ. There are three options for anastomosis:

  • end to end;
  • side by side;
  • end to the side.

Cavity method

Resection of the large intestine by laparotomy is performed through a longitudinal incision on the abdominal wall. After access to the organ, the doctor searches for the desired fragment of the intestine. Clamps are applied to isolate it, after which the affected area is removed. Next, the ends of the intestine are connected. Pros and cons of laparotomy:

  • Benefits. This includes the ability to control all cut blood vessels and timely stop bleeding.
  • Disadvantages. The main disadvantage is a long rehabilitation period. In addition, after surgery on the abdomen, a seam remains.

Laparotomy is indicated for the widespread occurrence of malignant tumors and metastases, extensive foci of colon damage and peritonitis. This method is not used in the following cases:

  • turbid effusion in the abdominal cavity;
  • technical inability to remove the tumor;
  • low blood pressure.


With laparoscopy, only a few puncture holes are made in the abdominal wall. Such a resection has a shorter rehabilitation period. In addition, it is carried out without a wide incision. Other benefits of laparoscopy:

  • minimal blood loss and tissue trauma;
  • lack of severe pain after surgery;
  • lower risk of infections, adhesions;
  • lack of large noticeable scars.

The disadvantage of laparoscopy is that it is not always effective. If complications arise, doctors can urgently go to the open method. Contraindications for laparoscopy:

  • allergy to anesthetics;
  • fistulas in the intestines;
  • bleeding disorder;
  • common adhesion process;
  • purulent peritonitis;
  • acute liver failure.

Preoperative diagnosis

To determine the exact location and size of a tumor or other colon defect before surgery, the patient is prescribed a preoperative diagnosis. It includes the following procedures:

  • MRI;
  • colonoscopy with biopsy;
  • computed tomography of the abdominal cavity with a contrast agent;
  • barium passage
  • general and biochemical blood tests;
  • ECG;
  • chest x-ray;
  • consultation and examination by an anesthetist.


After surgery, the patient is transferred to the intensive care unit, where he departs from anesthesia. Further recovery is carried out in the surgical department. The patient is helped to move from bed to chair, and then begin to walk, as this contributes to a quick recovery. If necessary, the doctor prescribes painkillers and antibiotics.

On average, recovery takes about 10 days. In the first couple of days, the patient eats soft foods. The usual food is returned after about 4 days. For 6-8 weeks, the patient needs to avoid physical activity. Possible complications after resection:

  • infection;
  • bleeding;
  • the formation of connective tissue at the site of resection, which can cause intestinal obstruction;
  • the formation of a hernia, prolapse in the hernia sac of the operated bowel.
local_offerevent_note January 13, 2020

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