Colectomy- Colorectal Medicine, Gastroenterology, General Surgery

Colectomy is bowel resection of the large bowel (colon). It consists of the surgical removal of any extent of the colon, usually segmental resection (partial colectomy). In extreme cases where the entire large intestine is removed, it is called total colectomy, and proctocolectomy (procto- + colectomy) denotes that the rectum is included.

Some of the most common indications for colectomy are:

  • Colon cancer
  • Diverticulitis and diverticular disease of the large intestine
  • Trauma
  • Inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease. Colectomy neither cures nor eliminates Crohn's disease, instead only removing part of the entire diseased large intestine. A colectomy is considered a cure for ulcerative colitis because the disease attacks only the large intestine and therefore will not be able to flare up again if the entire large intestine (cecum, ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon and sigmoid colon) and rectum are removed. However, it does not always take away extra-intestinal symptoms.
  • Prophylactic colectomy can be indicated in some forms of polyposis, Lynch syndrome and certain cases of inflammatory bowel disease because of high risk for development of colorectal cancer.
  • Bowel infarction
  • Typhlitis

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