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What are the risks associated with colon surgery?

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Quick Answer

Risks of colon surgery, also known as bowel resection, include the formation of scar tissue and development of a leak between the joined sections of the colon, explains WebMD. Patients are also at risk of injury to the bladder or ureters and anesthesia complications.

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Full Answer

As with any surgery, patients who undergo colon surgery run the risk of reacting negatively to general anesthesia, explains WebMD. Serious side effects of general anesthesia are rare but include heart attack, stroke, pneumonia, muscle damage and even death. Less-serious side effects are far more common and include nausea and sore throat.

Colon surgery is often performed to remove a diseased or damaged part of the colon, explains WebMD. It may be carried out as a treatment for colon cancer, diverticulitis or Crohn's disease. Once the damaged part of the colon is removed, the surgeon sews the healthy parts of the colon and rectum together. If the two portions of the colon cannot be attached, the surgeon may perform a colostomy by creating opening, called a stoma, for feces to pass through. A colostomy is often temporary, and the surgeon can perform a second surgery to seal the stoma after the colon has healed. Recovery from colon surgery is slow, and patients may spend up to two weeks in the hospital after surgery.

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