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What is a colectomy surgery?

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Colectomy surgery is a procedure that removes the entire colon or a section of it, defines Mayo Clinic. Colectomy surgery comes in the form of a total colectomy, partial colectomy, hemicolectomy and proctocolectomy.

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Total colectomy is the removal of the entire colon, a partial colectomy removes a section of the colon, a hemicolectomy is the removal of the right or left portion of the colon and a proctocolectomy is the removal of both colon and rectum, explains Mayo Clinic. Most colectomy surgeries require additional procedures to connect the remaining pieces of colon. Colectomy surgeries treat conditions such as severe colon bleeding, colon cancer, ulcerative colitis, bowel obstruction, diverticulitis and Crohn’s disease. Colectomy surgery also decreases the cancer risk in those with conditions such as Lynch syndrome or familial adenomatous.

A doctor may ask the patient to discontinue certain medications, clear the bowels with a laxative, fast before surgery, and take certain antibiotics in the days leading up to a surgery. Bleeding, small intestine injury, bladder injury, blood clots in the legs and lungs, suture tears and infection are general complications of colectomy surgery, states Mayo Clinic. These serious risks are based on an individual’s general health and the type of colectomy performed.

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