A large bowel resection is also known as a colectomy. The goal of this surgery is to remove diseased sections of your large bowel. The large bowel is also known as the large intestine or the colon.
During this surgery, your surgeon removes the diseased parts of your bowel and then reconnects the healthy parts. Your surgeon may remove all or part of your bowel.
Your surgeon may perform a colostomy if there’s not enough healthy intestine after surgery. During a colostomy, your surgeon moves one end of your large intestine to the outside of your abdominal wall and attaches a colostomy bag to your abdomen. When stool passes through your large intestine, it drains into the bag. The stool that goes into the bag is usually soft or liquid.
You’ll receive general anesthesia before the surgery begins. This will keep you asleep during the surgery. It will also keep you from feeling pain. Your surgeon may do a laparoscopic or open colectomy.
In a laparoscopic colectomy, your surgeon uses a camera to get a clear view of your intestines. The surgery is performed through a series of small incisions. It’s less invasive than open surgery.
In an open colectomy, your surgeon makes a large incision in your abdomen to see the bowel directly.
The basic structure of both surgeries is the same. The surgeon accesses your bowel using one or more incisions and removes the diseased or damaged bowel. The remaining bowel is stapled or sewn together. This is known as an anastomosis. Your surgeon will also perform a colostomy if needed. They’ll then stitch the incision closed.