Colon Removal

Indication
Colon cancer and repeated or severe infections of the small outpouchings of the colon called diverticula (diverticulitis) require the removal of the affected portion of the colon. Additionally, there are inflammatory conditions that may require removal of part or all of the colon.

Preoperative Evaluation
Except in emergencies, all patients undergo a barium enema or colonoscopy to evaluate the colon. In some cases a CAT scan and/or blood tests are used to evaluate other organs in the abdomen. Additionally, a bowel prep is taken before surgery to clean out the colon.

Procedure
The affected portion of the colon is removed and the intestine is then sewn back together. In some situations, as discussed with the patient before surgery, the intestine cannot be sewn back together and instead a temporary or permanent colostomy is created.

Length of Stay
Variable depending upon overall patient health. However, the average stay is about five days.

Recovery
Four to six weeks with no driving for two weeks and no lifting more than 10 pounds for six weeks.