At Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors, our experienced surgeons perform colorectal surgery to address a range of diseases and conditions affecting the colon, rectum, and anus.
What Does the Colon Do?
The colon, frequently referred to as the large intestine or large bowel, is an organ in the digestive system, which allows us to extract nutrients and fuel from food. During digestion, food passes through the esophagus and into the stomach, where it is Trusted Source The Colon: What it is, What it Does and Why it is Important American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons Go to Source broken down to liquid . Food then passes to the small bowel, where it is further broken down and vitamins and nutrients are absorbed. Next, the liquid moves to the colon, which absorbs the water and breaks down the remaining material with bacteria before the remnants are passed to the rectum.
Colonic Diseases and Conditions
There are a number of disorders that may affect the function of the colon. These include:
Colorectal Cancer: Tumors form in the lining of the colon.
Colonic Polyps: Growths of extra tissue that may become cancerous.
Ulcerative Colitis: Colon and rectal ulcers.
Diverticulitis: Infection or inflammation of the colon pouches.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): A condition that causes abdominal cramping and other uncomfortable symptoms.
Robotic Colon Surgery
Most colon operations are done for sigmoid diverticulitis. Unfortunately throughout the country 40% of the colon operations are still being done open. In our practice 99% are done with the robot. This means a more precise operation with less complications and quicker recovery with the most advanced surgical technique utilizing the DaVinci robot. The operation takes 1-2 hours and the hospital stay is 12-48 hrs. Recovery is 1-2 weeks.
Colorectal Surgery Procedures
Surgical procedures performed to address issues with the colon include:
Colon Resection (Colectomy)
A colon resection involves the partial or complete removal of the colon. This procedure may be performed to treat colon cancer, diverticulitis, intestinal obstructions, gastrointestinal bleeding, intestinal polyps, and other conditions.
Partial colon resection can often be performed with robotic surgery. If part of the colon is removed during a colon resection, the healthy sections of the colon will be sewed back together. If complete colon removal is necessary, a colostomy may be performed to provide a path for elimination.
Small Bowel Resection
If a patient’s small intestine (small bowel) is blocked or diseased, a resection may be performed. This procedure is sometimes performed to address bleeding, infection, ulcers, Crohn’s disease, cancer, and injuries to the small intestine. If healthy small intestine tissue remains after the diseased or damaged section is removed, it may be sewn back together. In some cases, an opening called a stoma must be made on the abdominal wall, to which the small intestine is attached. This procedure is called an ileostomy and is performed to allow stool to drain outside of the body. Ileostomy may be temporary or permanent.
Frequently Asked Questions About Colorectal Surgery
How long does it take to recover from colon resection?
Recovery after colon resection is dependent on whether the resection is partial or total and whether the procedure is open or robotic. Most of our patients are able to get back to work after 1-2 weeks, and full recovery may take up to 6 weeks. We will give you detailed expectations for the recovery period when your procedure is scheduled.
What are the risks of colorectal surgery?
- Damage to nearby organs
- Anastomotic leak
1 American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons. The Colon: What it is, What it Does and Why it is Important. Available: https://fascrs.org/patients/diseases-and-conditions/a-z/the-colon-what-it-is,-what-it-does. Accessed February 14, 2023.
2 Cleveland Clinic. Colectomy. Available: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/4671-colectomy-bowel-resection-surgery#:~:text=A%20colectomy%20is%20an%20operation,cancer%20and%20inflammatory%20bowel%20diseases. Accessed February 14, 2023.
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