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A Guide to Colon Cancer Surgery
In the span of a human’s life, the chance of having colon cancer is around 4.3% in men and 4.0% in women. There have been reports that this type of cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer patient death. If you got diagnosed with colorectal cancer, most doctors would suggest surgery as the primary treatment.
In most cases, colon removal is the best choice. It is where the doctors will remove one-third of the patient’s colon to guarantee that they have removed all of the cancer in the body. However, it still depends if the cancer has spread or is still in its early stage. Before suggesting surgery for colon cancer removal, determining which treatment plan the doctor will use is based on the location of cancer in the patient’s colon and which stage the cancer is.
The doctors often use two approaches in surgery for colon cancer, and these are:
- Open surgery where they use abdominal incision and requires a long extension of stay in the hospital.
- Minimal invasive surgery is the type of treatment where a surgeon performs with the help of robotic tools such as laparoscopic, and it only requires a week or less stay in the hospital due to small incisions that quickly heal.
Getting diagnosed with colon cancer can be challenging. That’s why researching the surgery options might help you in some way. Keep reading to find out more about colon cancer surgery.
What Is Colorectal Surgery?
The abnormal growth of cells in the colon, rectum, or anus is the leading cause of colon cancer. This type of cancer dramatically affects the patient’s everyday life, from digesting food to producing a bowel movement. Treating a patient with colon cancer includes colon removal surgeries. It is usually performed by colon cancer or rectal cancer surgeons.
Colorectal surgery has many procedures and consequences, even if it is designed to repair damages in the colon, anus, and rectum. It is an essential treatment option in most cases, and there are different surgery types.
Types of Colon Surgery
Various procedures of colon cancer operation have been developed and are being used today in the medical field. They range from minimal incisions to open surgeries. In most situations, removing colon parts where tumors are found is involved. Patients also receive chemotherapies and radiation therapies on or before the surgery like any other cancer treatment.
Polypectomy and Local Excision
It is a surgical procedure that removes abnormal collections of tissue called polyps from the large intestine. Polypectomy is noninvasive and generally performed with colonoscopy surgery at the same time. Polypectomy and local excision only apply in the early stages of colon cancer.
Colon Cancer Colectomy
The removal of the colon or part of it is called a colectomy, and it can be performed in two ways:
- Open colectomy where it requires a long incision in the patient’s abdomen
- Laparoscopic-assisted colectomy that’s being performed with the help of modern technology and causes the quick recovery of patients.
The type of colectomy will depend on how widespread the colon cancer is.
Connecting the colon with a stoma to divert stool from any damage is called a colostomy. In some cases, once the repaired tissue heals, the colostomy could be reversed. However, there are also permanent colostomies where the stoma is attached to a bag that collects waste.
A proctectomy is a rectal cancer surgery option that also applies in colon cancer surgery. It’s used to remove the rectum or a part of it. There are times that some healthy rectal tissue that is adjacent to the position being vacated may also be removed together with nearby fatty tissue and lymph nodes.
The pathologist also examines lymph nodes to determine if the cancer cells are present and see which stage the cancer is. Once the rectum’s cancerous part is removed, the oncologist will connect the colon with healthy tissues from the lower part of the rectum to allow waste to pass normally through the patient’s anus.
Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC)
Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy is a type of chemotherapy treatment that is highly concentrated. HIPEC Treatment can be helpful to patients where cancers haven’t spread yet because the doctors deliver it directly to the patient’s abdomen during surgery. Unlike the usual chemotherapy that circulates throughout the patient’s body, the HIPEC is delivered straight to the cancer cells and allows higher doses of chemotherapy treatment.
Robotic Surgery: Da Vinci Surgical System
The surgical treatment of colectomy or low anterior proctectomy can use this type of treatment. A surgical system like this requires the surgeon to use various robotic devices such as an EndoWrist Stapler during the surgery to remove the colon and Firefly Fluorescence Imaging to find a good blood supply of blood vessels that can’t be seen under the regular white light. Treatment options like these are great since they only require small incisions that will help patients recover quickly.
Side Effects of Colon Cancer Surgery
In every cancer treatment, risks and side effects are always present. It is based on several factors, including the patient’s overall health before the surgery and the length of the operation. Some problems that occur during or after the surgery consist of excessive bleeding, infections, and blood clots.
Patients who wake up after surgery will experience pain and are required to take painkillers for a few days. They are also prohibited from eating solid food for quite some time and only allowed to take in limited liquid because of the colon’s recovery time. In some cases, patients after colon surgery take longer to have bowel movements. This situation is called ileus. Ileus can be caused by the anesthesia used during the surgery or the extreme pain that slows down the function of bowel movements.
Connect With All American Hospice Today
Getting diagnosed with colorectal cancer or any type of cancer is stressful and draining. Frequent visits for check-ups, proper treatments, and a great support system will help the patient get through healing. If you know anyone diagnosed with cancer and need professional assistance, you may contact All American Hospice. We offer excellent support to take care of our patients.