Possible risks and complications of a colon resection, or colectomy, include an infection, bleeding, or injury to the blood vessels, bladder, intestines or the ureter, which transports urine from the kidney to the bladder, according to the University of Chicago Medical Center. Blood clots are also potential complications.
Another possible complication after colectomy is leakage at the site of intestine reconnection, states the University of Chicago Medical Center. Blood clots in the veins can also reach the lungs. Additionally, it is possible for patients to experience bowel obstruction due to internal scar tissue or develop hernias at the incisions.
Partial colectomy involves removing a portion of the colon, while total colectomy entails removing the entire colon, explains the University of Chicago Medical Center. Doctors perform a colectomy to treat diseases, such as diverticular disease, large polyps or rectal cancer. They use either conventional open surgery, which requires a long incision on the abdomen, or a minimally invasive colectomy, which causes less pain and faster recovery, as doctors use tiny incisions and special instruments.
Patients should fully understand colectomy and why they need the procedure, and they must choose an experienced surgeon with specialized training in managing complicated colorectal problems, notes the University of Chicago Medical Center. Most patients, including those who lose their entire colon, are able to resume normal activities within two to three weeks.