Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a chronic inflammatory condition of the digestive tract, is often kept in check through conservative treatments. However, when medications aren’t sufficient to control symptoms of IBD, removal of the damaged segment of intestine can offer substantial pain relief and improved quality of life. When inflammation is limited to the colon, the intestinal resection is called a colectomy. Complications resulting from both forms of IBD (Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis) can be treated by colectomy.
At the IBD Center of Excellence, our patients benefit from a team of physicians dedicated to the comprehensive management of IBD symptoms and complications. When surgery is necessary, our GI and colorectal surgeons are adept at performing the most advanced and effective procedures to deliver the best results. To learn more about colectomy surgery or to schedule a consultation with one of our experts, contact us at (888) 421-4172.
Types of Colectomy
Several types of colectomy are performed depending on the location and extent of inflammatory damage or obstruction in the colon. At the IBD Center of Excellence, our colorectal surgeons have extensive experience in performing the following large bowel resection procedures:
- Total Colectomy – removal of the entire colon
- Partial Colectomy – removal of a small portion of affected colon
- Hemicolectomy – removal of one side of the colon (left or right)
- Protocolectomy – removal of both the colon and the rectum
Many bowel resection surgeries can now be performed via a minimally invasive approach, known as laparoscopy. When considering a colectomy, our surgeons will discuss the treatment options tailored to your individual case.
Prior to surgery, you will be placed under general anesthesia and closely monitored by one of our expert anesthesiologists. In traditional open surgery, an incision will be made along the abdomen to provide access to the colon. The damaged segment of colon then must be freed from surrounding tissue and removed from the intestinal tract, while either end of the segment is temporarily clamped.
During a laparoscopic approach, several small incisions are made around the abdomen. A camera-equipped device is then inserted through one of these incisions, providing live video feed from within the abdomen. After freeing the damaged section of colon from surrounding tissue, it can be pulled out through one of the incisions, repaired outside of the body, and then reinserted.
Once the segment of damaged colon has been removed, the intestinal tract must be re-connected. Reconstruction of the digestive tract includes the following methods:
- Anastomosis – if the majority of the colon is left intact, the ends of the healthy intestine can be reconnected with sutures
- Ileoanal anastomosis – after a protocolectomy, the small intestine is connected directly to the anus
- Colostomy – the end of the colon is attached to a small opening created in the abdomen with a bag to collect waste (can be permanent or temporary)
Recovery from Colectomy
After partial or complete resection of the colon, the primary goal of recovery is to ensure proper bowel function. Most patients will remain in a hospital for several days after surgery while being monitored by an expert team of health professionals. When an experienced doctor performs the surgery, the risk of complications following a colectomy is greatly reduced. In general, risks may include bleeding, blood clots, infection, or failure of sutures leading to perforation of the intestine and revisional surgery.
At the IBD Center of Excellence, our colorectal surgeons strive to perform bowel resection surgery with a minimally invasive approach whenever possible. Patients who undergo laparoscopic colectomy typically experience quicker recovery times and less pain due to reduced incision size and decreased trauma to surrounding tissue.
Contact an IBD Specialist in Los Angeles
The IBD Center of Excellence in Los Angeles offers a team of world-renowned gastroenterologists and colorectal surgeons who have trained at some of the top medical schools and residencies in the country. Our extensive experience in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, coupled with a highly individualized approach, helps us to deliver compassionate and effective care to each patient. For more information on colectomies and other surgical treatments, or to schedule a consultation with one of our physicians, please call (888) 421-4172 or fill out our contact form.
We’d love to verify your insurance for you. Fill out our Free Insurance Verification form!
Next, learn about surgical treatment for IBD that affects the small bowel.