How Dangerous Is Colon Resection Surgery?


Quick Answer

The dangers, or risks, of a colectomy, or colon resection surgery, include injury to the bladder, ureter, intestines, blood vessels and other nearby structures, according to the University of Chicago Medical Center. Infection, bleeding and leaks at the reconnection site are additional potential complications.

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Scar tissue-related bowel obstruction can develop even years after a colectomy, notes the University of Chicago Medical Center. Additionally, hernias can develop at the incision site. Blood clots can also develop and travel to the patient's lungs.

The patient may also begin to bleed internally and the wound may break open, advises MedlinePlus. The dangers associated with the anesthesia include breathing problems and reaction to medicines. Heart attack or stroke are additional dangers associated with any surgery.

After surgery, the patient remains in the hospital for up to seven days, indicates MedlinePlus. Emergency surgery and surgery that requires the removal of a large amount of intestines may require a longer hospital stay. Clear liquids are typically allowed within three days post-surgery.

Walking activities and limiting narcotic pain medication both speed up the digestion-recovery process, advises the University of Chicago Medical Center. Normal activities generally resume within three weeks of surgery, but patients are advised to avoid heavy lifting for six weeks.

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