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Surgery is a common treatment option for both colorectal cancer and other benign (non-cancerous) colorectal diseases such as diverticulitis and inflammatory bowel diseases, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. During surgery, your doctor removes the diseased tissue and puts your colon back together.
Common Colorectal Procedures: What You Need to Know
The type of colorectal procedure your surgeon will perform depends on the type, stage and location of the disease. Some of the more common procedures include: right hemicolectomy, left hemicolectomy, sigmoid colectomy and low anterior resection. The Shared Decision Tool will help you put together a list of questions to ask your surgeon during your initial consultation and your other appointments leading up to surgery.
Learn More about the Most Common Colorectal Surgeries below
The right colon, and depending on the location of the diseased tissue, parts of the transverse (middle) colon may be taken out to remove the affected areas. The ends of the colon are put back together surgically to reconstitute normal bowel function.
The left colon may be taken out to remove the affected areas. The ends of the colon are put back together surgically to reconstitute normal bowel function.
All or part of the sigmoid colon, the part of the colon closest to the rectum and anus, may be taken out to remove the affected areas. The left side of the colon is reconnected to the rectum to reconstitute normal bowel function.
Low Anterior Resection
The upper part of the rectum may be taken out to remove the affected areas. The colon is then connected to the part of the rectum that is still left.
Abdominal Perineal Resection
The sigmoid (the lower part of the colon), rectum and anus are removed. A permanent colostomy is put in place.
The entire colon is removed. The small intestine is then connected to the rectum.
|Studies show that there are benefits for patients having minimally invasive colorectal surgery, which can be completed through small incisions, instead of open surgery with much larger incisions. Ask your surgeon if this is a good option for you.|
Reduction in the risk of surgical site infection
Shorter length of hospital stay on average
1 Wei, D., et al. Minimally invasive colectomy is associated with reduced risk of anastomotic leak and other major perioperative complications and reduced hospital resource utilization as compared with open surgery: a retrospective population-based study of comparative effectiveness and trends of surgical approach. Surg Endosc. 2019.