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The colon and the rectum are important parts of the digestive system. They play an important role in the excretion of waste materials from the body. This article will highlight important aspects of "Colorectal Carcinoma" surgery.

Surgery of the bowel involves removing or repairing diseased portions of the small or large intestine. The surgeon discusses all your options with you before proceeding with the operation. However, every surgery has its risks and complications, and if these manifest post-op, you should be prepared to deal with them effectively.

What Is Colorectal Surgery?

The colon is the biggest part of the large intestine, making up all parts besides the distal (ending) part, which is referred to as the rectum. The term "colorectal" means the colon and the rectum together.

Diseases of the lower digestive tract, such as diverticulitis, hernia and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), can cause parts of the tract to become infected. Injury and ischemia (restricted blood flow) can also cause damage to the affected areas. Obstructions within the rectum, due to scar tissue and other masses, can restrict the elimination of feces and produce sepsis. Colorectal surgery is performed to repair or remove such damaged or diseased sections of the colon, rectum, anus and sometimes even the pelvic floor.

What Does Colorectal Surgery For Cancer Involve?

Colorectal Surgery is a necessary course of action for people diagnosed with colorectal cancer. It usually results in major reconstruction of the lower intestinal tract. The procedure mainly involves removing any cancerous growths, repairing tears, removing blockages, and treating disorders of the pelvic floor.

Types Of Colorectal Surgery For Cancer

The type of surgery you have ultimately determines, to some extent, the type of complications you may develop. With advances in surgical treatments and techniques, there are various procedures available to perform colorectal surgery. Surgery depends on the location and type of cancer, and whether it has metastasized or not. There are two main types of surgeries:

  1. Open Surgery
  2. Endoscopic Surgery

Open Surgery – A Highly Invasive And Traditional Method

This involves making a large incision in the intestinal cavity to perform different types of repairs, such as a:

  • Local Excision – cutting out very small early stage tumors without cutting through the abdominal wall.
  • Resection and Anastomosis– the damaged section is cut out and the ends of the healthy section are stitched together; performed to remove early stage tumor and small tumors.
  • Ostomy – creating an opening or a hole (stoma) inside the body which drains feces and urine into an external pouch (colostomy or ileostomy).

Endoscopic Surgery – Minimally Invasive and Modern

Instead of giving a large incision, the surgeon inserts a laparoscope (thin tube with a camera attached at one end) and other surgical instruments into the abdominal cavity via small incisions. This procedure has fewer chances of complications, a faster recovery rate, and minimal scarring. However, laparoscopic surgery is avoided in certain cases, such as very large tumors or other risk factors.

Colorectal surgery is, no doubt, a serious operation. It creates major physiological changes in your digestive tract, and being able to resume your normal day-to-day routine may take a while.

More often than not, patients experience immediate relief, and more than 90 percent do not develop a recurring problem. However, each individual and each surgery is different, and so are the expectations and possible outcomes.

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