Colon resection, the simple term for colectomy, is a surgical procedure in which all or part of the large intestine is resected. Colectomy treats or prevents conditions that affect the colon, according to Mayo Clinic.
Colectomy is also known as large bowel resection, according to Healthline. Total colectomy is the term for the removal of the whole colon. Partial colectomy, also called subtotal colectomy, involves removing most parts of the colon. Hemicolectomy is the removal of the right or left part of the colon. Proctocolectomy is the removal of both the colon and the rectum, according to Medscape.
Before starting the surgery, the patient receives general anesthesia, notes Healthline. In an open surgery, the surgeon creates a large incision in the abdomen to see the colon right away. The less invasive option is a laparoscopic surgery, wherein the surgeon uses a camera to view the intestines and performs through a sequence of small incisions. However, the pattern of both surgeries is the same. The surgeon accesses the colon with one or more incisions, the damaged colon is removed, the remaining colon is sewn together, other procedures are performed if necessary, and then the incisions are closed by stitching.
Colectomy is used to treat colon cancer, diverticulitis, infections, precancerous polyps and intestinal blockages, according to Healthline.