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Colorectal surgery

Colorectal surgery is performed to cure damage to the colon, anus and rectum caused by diseases of the lower digestive tract, such as diverticulitis, cancer, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Ulcerative colitis & diverticulitis can cause perforations in the rectum. Removal of the diseased part through surgery can retain normal bowel function. Colorectal surgery is a preferred treatment option for ulcerative colitis, colorectal cancer, crohn's disease and in some cases of diverticulitis.

Types of surgery

There are a variety of procedures (colorectal surgery) that a colorectal surgeon may use to treat disorders of the large and small intestines.

Until 1990, all colorectal surgeries were performed by making large incisions in the abdomen, opening up cavity of the intestine and repairing the diseased part. Most of these repairs involved resection (removal of the diseased portion).

Usually colorectal surgery involves creating an ostomy, which is an opening from the inside of the body to the outside, mostly to remove body wastes (feces or urine).

Colorectal surgeons use several types of ostomy surgeries for colorectal surgery.

Colostomy surgery: A colostomy is a surgery procedure that brings a part of the large intestine through the abdominal wall, creating an opening to carry waste out of the body to a pouch.

Ileostomy surgery: An ileostomy removes the entire colon and the rectum. The lower end of the small intestine becomes the stoma.

Laparoscopic surgery is being used in many diseases of the colon. Laparoscopic colon surgery is the technique of using the laparoscope whereby a portion of the colon can be removed using several small incisions. These incisions are usually less than 0.5 cm. Carbon dioxide gas is then used to slowly inflate the abdomen & a thin telescope is introduced. This allows the surgeons to view the affected part of the abdomen on a TV monitor. Special surgical instruments are used to perform laparoscopic colon resection. This process is operated under general anesthesia. The gas is removed from the abdomen before the patient awakens from general anesthesia

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