Many problems that develop in the colon, or large intestine, may require surgery. In some cases, medication and lifestyle changes are recommended for first-line treatment, then surgery is considered if symptoms persist. In other conditions, surgery is the preferred intervention to improve your health.
Examples of conditions that often need colon surgery include:
The type of surgery performed is determined by the disease and its severity in each person. This list gives a few examples of health conditions and the colon surgery used to solve the problem:
Inflammation from a condition like Crohn’s disease causes scar tissue, which can narrow or block the colon. Strictureplasty is surgery that safely opens the narrowed areas without removing part of the colon.
Fistulas are abnormal connections between two structures that shouldn’t be attached. For example, fistulas can develop between two organs or between loops of the small and large intestines. They often become infected or develop an abscess. Surgery involves resection, or removal of the damaged area, and repair.
In the United States, colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women and the second cause in men. It’s important to know that colorectal cancer doesn’t need to be deadly.
When colorectal surgery is caught at an early stage with a colonoscopy, the cancer is often contained within a polyp. Surgery to remove polyps is often the only treatment needed to cure the cancer.
Colectomy is surgery to remove part or all of the colon. This type of surgery may be needed if you have:
Whenever possible, the doctors at General Surgical Care perform minimally-invasive laparoscopic surgery. The surgical instruments used during laparoscopic surgery are attached to long, thin tubes that can be inserted through small incisions that are less than one-half inch long.
The first instrument inserted is a laparoscope, which holds a high-definition camera that provides a detailed, magnified view of the targeted area. Then your surgeon places other instruments to perform surgery through additional incisions.
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