Partial removal of the colon, or a resection, allows the unhealthy portion of the colon or rectum causing problems to be removed while leaving the remainder of the intestines intact, according to WebMD. The procedure can often be performed laparoscopically and is the most successful treatment for colorectal cancer.
Bowel resection surgery does not cure Crohn’s disease because the condition typically returns to some part of the intestines, explains WebMD. However, when used in children, the procedure is beneficial for restoring normal development and enhancing quality of life. The procedure is also used to remove cancer and to treat a bowel obstruction or diverticulitis.
Depending upon the patient’s general health and the location and severity of the condition being treated, a minimally invasive laparoscopy may be used to perform the resection, requiring small incisions and offering a shorter recovery time, notes WebMD. The alternative is an open resection, performed through the abdomen, which requires general anesthesia and a hospital stay of up to 2 weeks. Sometimes, the surgeon determines that an open resection is required while performing a laparoscopy. If it is not possible to reattach the two segments of the colon or rectum, the surgeon performs a colostomy to create an opening for feces to pass through and empty out into a bag. A colostomy is usually temporary, unless the lower rectum is removed, in which case it is permanent.