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Colorectal Cancer Health Center

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Laparascopic Total Abdominal Colectomy

The Three Steps of Laparascopic Total Abdominal Colectomy continued...

Step 3: Rejoining the Ileum and Rectum

Next, your surgeon will rejoin the rectum and ileum. This rejoining is called an "anastomosis." A circular stapler with an anvil-shaped head and center post and rod will be used to make the anastomosis. First, the anvil-shaped end of the stapler (the end with the post) is passed into the ileum and stitched into place. The post will extend beyond the cut end of the ileum. To complete the anastomosis, the rod of the circular stapler is passed into the rectum, connected with the center post, then closed and "fired" to join the ileum with the rectum. This is called an ileorectal anastomosis (IRA). As an alternative to the IRA, some patients may require the creation of a reservoir from the small intestine. This reservoir is called an ileal pouch anal anastomosis (IPAA).

The surgeon will then rinse the abdominal cavity and check the anastomosis for leaks. Finally, all of the incisions in the abdomen will be stitched or taped closed.

Recovery From Laparascopic Total Abdominal Colectomy

After surgery, you will be encouraged to increase your activity level steadily once you are home. Walking is great exercise! Walking will help your general recovery by strengthening your muscles, keeping your blood circulating to prevent blood clots, and helping your lungs remain clear. If you are fit and did regular exercise before surgery, you may resume exercising when you feel comfortable and your doctor gives the approval. However, strenuous exercise, heavy lifting, and abdominal exercises such as sit-ups should be avoided for six weeks after surgery.

You will be sent home on a soft diet, which means you can eat almost everything except raw fruits and vegetables. You should continue this diet until your post-surgical check-up. If the diet is making you constipated, please call your doctor's office for advice.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on July 16, 2014
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