The colon, also commonly called the large intestine, forms the last part of the digestive tract. During colon surgery, part or all of the colon is removed or “resected.” This may sound quite scary, but you can eat normally and live a healthy, active lifestyle without a colon.
- Polyps and cancer
These fleshy growths form in the lining of the colon. Over time polyps can grow into cancers. Surgery will need to be done to remove these growths. Often a section of colon containing the growth is removed and the colon resectioned.
Small pouches can form in the walls of the colon. Diverticulitis occurs when these pouches become infected. Infection can be treated with antibiotics, but in some cases the best treatment is to remove the infected section of colon.
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
IBD causes the lining of the colon to become inflamed and irritated. It can affect part or all of the colon. Types of IBD include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Removing the affected sections of the colon may help relieve the symptoms.
Some colon procedures are performed by laparoscopy. It’s a way of performing surgery through small incisions. A device call a laparoscope is used housing a tiny camera that sends a live video feed to the surgeon. The surgeon can see inside the body without the need for open surgery.
In some cases open surgery is required to complete the surgery safely. Open surgery requires longer hospital stays and recovery.
A healthy future
Once you are completely recovered, long-term changes can help keep your colon healthy.
- Eat food high in fiber like; whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables
- Strive for a healthy weight as being overweight has been linked to an increased risk of colon cancer. Especially weight carried around the waist.
- Regular exercise. Even moderate daily activity can help reduce the risk of colon cancer.