COLON SURGERY

The large intestine is the last part of the intestinal tract. It ends in the anus and its main job is absorption mainly of water and electrolites to solidify the fecal material.
It is approximately 6 feet long and it is comprised of the ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, sigmoid and rectum.
There are several general reasons we end up having to operate on the colon. (I will simplify for purposes of this medium)
I will divide these in benign and malignant.

BENIGN

1. Diverticulitis - The colon can develop small pockets or pouches that are most commonly found in the L colon (diverticulosis). These are much more common and prevalent in people that eat low fiber. At times they may get impacted with stool and cause an infection that is called diverticultitis. If it is a mild infection, then it is treated with antibiotics, usually as outpatient. At times even without antibiotics and with a special diet. If the infection is not controlled, the intestine may rupture and this would require emergent surgical intervention and if the infection is severe, then we would need to place a temporary colostomy bag, that could be reversed at a later date. (these are extreme situations)
If a patient has recurrent attacks of diverticulitis, then we electively remove the colon segment that is causing the issues to prevent rupture of the intestines and the need for colostomy.
2. Benign tumors or polyps - There are certain tumors that are not cancerous, but that are too large to remove via a colonoscope. These patients would require to have a segment of the colon removed and then put together.

MALIGNANT

Colon cancer is the main reason that we remove part of the colon for a tumor.
It can happen in any area of the colon. This procedure is done in an elective planned fashion and the colon is prepped to then put the ends together and avoid a colostomy.
We perform the operation in the hospital and usually the patient spends 3-5 days in the hospital awaiting for the intestinal function to resume.
The patient is kept initially without food, and then slowly advanced from a liquid diet to a regular diet.

Before and After Colon Surgery

We prepare the patient by giving them a bowel prep. This will stimulate the colon to empty, facilitating that way the manipulation of the intestines during surgery and attempting to prevent spillage of stool into the abdominal cavity.
The prep is ususally done at home and it is a combination of laxatives and oral antibiotics.
Here is the prep instructions :

RISKS

  • Bleeding - This is a risk inherent to any surgery. We make sure that we control bleeding while in surgery and do our best to prevent any bleeding after.

  • Infection - there is always a possibility of this happening in any incision, but more so during colon surgery due to the fact that we are entering the bowel. As it is well known, the intestines have a large number of bacteria in them. this makes this surgery more prone to the risk of infection. To prevent or minimize the risk we give antibiotics to the patient before the operation.

  • Recurrence of tumors - If the operation is done for a cancer, there is always the risk of it coming back. To minimize the risk we assure that there is a margin of normal tisue left in both sides of the anastomosis which is the area where we put the colon together. At times patietns may need radiation for rectal tumors and/or chemotherapy to decreases the chances of recurrence.

  • Anastomotic leak - Any time we create a man made connection between two parts of the intestine, we carry the risk of having a leak of intestinal contents. This, as one may imagine, can cause a problem with infection. There are many factors that can contribute to this, but one of the most importnt risk factors that can increase the risk is smoking. The reason for this is that smoking decreases blood suply and causes problems with healing.

Lugo Surgical Group

150 Pine Forest Dr,,

Shenandoah, TX 77384

Phone. 832-377-5846

Email. lugosurgicalgroup@gmail.com