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8 things to know about colectomy

21 Apr, 2022

Blog author iconHealthtrip Team

A colectomy is a surgical procedure where a part or all of the colon (large intestine) is removed. The initial 6 feet of the large intestine are known as the colon, and the last 6 inches are the rectum. If you or anyone in your family is suggested to undergo this procedure, it’s essential to know about the procedure so that you can have a better understanding of how this surgery is going to work and how to manage changes in your daily life post-surgery.

1. Colectomy is performed for different reasons

There are certain medical conditions that may require colectomy as a treatment like:

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2. There are different types of colectomies.

There are various types of colectomies:

  • Total colectomy: In this procedure, the entire colon is removed.
  • Partial colectomy: It involves the removal of part of the colon and is also known as a subtotal colectomy.
  • Hemicolectomy: This procedure involves the removal of the left or right portion of the colon.
  • Proctocolectomy: In this procedure, both the colon and rectum are removed.

3. Colectomies are performed by a colon and rectal surgeons.

Colectomies are performed by rectal and colon surgeons (they are surgeons with advanced training in treating colon and rectal problems). These surgeries are performed under general anesthesia. Regardless of any type of colectomy, you may spend a few days in the hospital and will be under observation. We have the best cancer doctors in India who can offer advanced treatment to patients with successful outcomes.

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4. Major colectomies performed are successful but have their own risk.

Most of the colectomy procedures are successful, but there are risks involved. Some general risks involved with any surgery are the reaction to anesthesia, blood clots, infections, etc. Other risks of colectomy include scarring, leakage through the incisions, and problems with how the intestines function to move stool and waste. However, not every patient suffers from every complication. Please talk with your specialist about the risk and complications and how they can be reduced.

5. Recovery after colon removal surgery depends upon how much colon is removed.

To fully recover from surgery may take around 4-6 weeks. Gradually, you will transition back to drinking and eating. About a day post-surgery, you can have clear liquids. Once you can tolerate that, you will start on semi-solids and then solid foods. Post your discharge, you will be asked to follow a diet that may include a low-fiber diet. This will help reduce the frequency and amounts of stools to allow intestinal tissue to heal. However, the recovery time also depends on your general health and age.

6. Colostomy or an ileostomy might be necessary.

A colostomy is done where the remaining part of the colon is attached to the stoma. The stool gets emptied in an external pouch attached to the outside of the stoma. A stoma may be a temporary thing to allow the bowel to heal. In some cases, it might be permanent. An ileostomy is a procedure where the remaining small intestine is attached to a stoma. The nurse in the hospital teaches the patient how to take care of their stomas and live with them.

7. It takes time for your bowel to heal.

After surgery, it takes time for the bowel to heal and function normally. Healing time depends on various factors like the overall health of the patient and the kind of surgery a person has undergone. The recovery can be sped up by following the doctor’s advice and taking the necessary steps. It’s also crucial to understand that narcotic pain medicines will slow your gut, and you need to find a balance between being comfortable and helping your bowel regain function. Discuss with your doctor the best strategy for managing postsurgical pain.

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8. You may have to bring some dietary changes after colectomy.

Colectomy surgery may affect your dietary and stool habits. Your doctor may suggest you avoid certain types of food and have smaller and more frequent meals. You may experience that your bowel movements have become more frequent. However, a patient who has undergone a small partial colectomy may notice minor or no change. Your dietician, nurse, or doctor will teach you how to adapt your dietary habits to feel comfortable and satisfied with your new digestive processes.

How can we help in the treatment?

In case you have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer or are recommended for colectomy, we act as your guide throughout your treatment journey. We will be present physically with you even before your treatment is started. We will provide you with the following:

  • Expert physicians and surgeon’s opinions
  • Transparent communication
  • Coordinated care
  • Prior appointment with specialists
  • Assistance in hospital formalities
  • 24*7 availability
  • Help in arrangement for medical travel
  • Assistance for accommodation and healthy recovery
  • Assistance in emergencies

We are committed to providing the best healthcare services to our patients. We have a team of trained and highly dedicated health experts who will be there by your side right from the beginning of your journey.


Colectomy is a surgery that requires the best expertise to reduce the complication risk and have better outcomes. To offer expert care, we have the best team who can plan a personalized treatment plan depending upon your medical condition. To get treatment from the best surgeons, get in touch with our experts today.

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