The large intestine, or colon, is the lower part of the digestive tract. Diseases of the colon are common, and more than one-half million surgical procedures are performed in the United States every year to treat them. Indications for colon resections include:
- Colon cancer
- Diverticular disease
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Intestinal polyps
- Large bowel obstruction
Appendectomy is the surgical removal of the appendix. The operation is done to remove an infected appendix. An infected appendix, called appendicitis, can burst and release bacteria and stool into the abdomen. The appendix is usually removed laparoscopically, which is a minimally invasive technique. In select cases, natural orifice surgery, or NOTES, can be used as a minimally invasive approach to remove the appendix.
During a colon resection, the diseased part of the bowel is removed and the two healthy sections of the colon are reattached. This is called an end-to-end anastomosis. If an anastomosis is not possible because of the extent of the disease or its location, the surgeon creates a colostomy. A temporary colostomy is made when the colon needs longer to heal after surgery and the anastomosis is performed later.
There are two types of colon resection: open surgery and laparoscopic surgery. The type of procedure performed depends on the diagnosis and the individual patient.