A colectomy is either the partial removal or total removal of the colon, also known as the large intestine.
There are many reasons why a patient may require this type of surgery. Some of these reasons include diverticulitis, inflammatory bowel disease, colon or rectal cancer, polyps, or bleeding that cannot be stopped.
How is a colectomy performed?
There are two methods of surgery for a colectomy, open and laparoscopic.
For an open (conventional) surgery, a long incision is made down the middle of the abdomen. If this method is required, the patient recovery time in the hospital is generally longer.
A laparoscopic surgery, or minimally invasive, requires the surgeon to uses several incisions with specialized tools. Once inside, the surgery is the exact same as an open surgery, however the recovery period is much faster and usually with less pain associated, as the incision site is much smaller than in an open operation. However in emergent situations the chance of a laparoscopic approach are greatly diminished.