Colectomy - Medical Negligence Lawyers – Compensation Claims

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If there is something wrong with your colon, you may need a colectomy, which is a removal of a portion of the colon that is diseased. The colon is the last segment of the intestines, mostly responsible for drawing water out of the lumen of the colon. Some dangerous diseases of the colon can be taken care of by removal of the colon before the disease arises.

A colectomy is done in several different ways. You can have a colectomy that is a total or complete colectomy, in which the entire colon is removed. In a hemicolectomy, half of the colon is removed. In a partial colectomy, only the section of colon that is diseased is removed. In a proctocolectomy, the entire colon and the rectum are removed together. These are risky procedures that can lead to further injury or death.

When all or some of the colon is injured, the surgeon needs to remove the damaged segment in some cases. It leaves a missing part of the colon and lesser functioning of the colon that is remaining, if any.

Diseases that require a colectomy include the following:

  • An obstruction of the bowel that leads to an emergency surgery.
  • Bleeding in the colon that cannot be taken care of by any other means.
  • Cancer of the colon, particularly early stage cancer. Big cancers need a greater amount of colon removed.
  • Ulcerative colitis usually requires a total colectomy due to pre-cancerous changes.
  • Crohn’s disease can affect all or a portion of the colon. Pre-cancerous changes are possible.
  • Diverticulitis usually affects a small portion of the colon, which needs to be removed to prevent infection in the colon wall.
  • You can have the colon removed if it is normal but you have a high risk of colon cancer because of strong family history, such as Lynch syndrome.


Colectomies can be dangerous, depending on your health, your age, and the skill of the doctor. The type of colectomy you have also makes a difference in how well the surgery goes. The major complications of a colectomy include the following:

  • Deep vein thrombosis, which is a blood clot in the legs that can travel up to the lungs leading to a pulmonary embolism and possible death.
  • Excessive surgical bleeding that can necessitate a transfusion and can lead to severe anaemia.
  • Suture tears that can cause fistulae or connections to the outside or to other internal organs near the tear.
  • Infection from the bacteria that normally live in the colon. This can cause peritonitis and death from massive infection.
  • The nearby organs in the vicinity of the surgery can be damaged and may need to be surgically fixed.

Expect that you’ll need to be in the hospital, especially in the case of complications, in order to give time for your body to heal. The doctors will want to keep track of your progress to make sure you are heading in the right direction.


There are two types of colectomies you could expect. The type of surgery you get depends on the surgeon’s skill and preference. You’ll go into surgery after preoperative preparation, including preoperative antibiotics to prevent infection. Both types of surgery require that you go under general anesthesia.

The two types of surgery include:

  • An open colectomy in which the abdomen is opened up and the colon is viewed directly. This is the most common type of colectomy.
  • A laparoscopic colectomy can be done using a special camera and miniaturized tools to do the colectomy with a TV camera showing where the tools are going. This is slightly more dangerous because it is easier to occidentally nick or cut someone’s abdominal tissues.

The colon can be connected to another length of colon or a colostomy can be done in which the end of the colon is open to the outside.

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