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What are the surgical options to treat colorectal cancer?

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There are several types of surgery which may be used to treat colorectal cancer:

  • Partial colectomy. As the name suggests, this is when the surgeon removes only part of the colon. The remaining parts will be joined together in a procedure that doctors call anastamosis. If you have a partial colectomy, then your bowel habits should go back to being pretty much the way they were before you had the cancer.
  • Right colectomy, or ileocolectomy. During a right colectomy, the right side of the colon is removed. During an ileocolectomy, the last segment of the small intestine - which is attached to the right side of the colon, called the ileum, is also removed.
  • Abdominoperineal resection. This is an operation in which the anus, rectum, and sigmoid colon are removed. A permanent colostomy is required, as the anus is removed.
  • Proctosigmoidectomy. In this operation, the diseased section of the rectum and sigmoid colon is removed.
  • Total abdominal colectomy. A total abdominal colectomy is an operation that removes the entire large intestine.
  • Total proctocolectomy. This is the most extensive bowel operation performed and involves the removal of both the rectum and the colon. If the surgeon is able to leave the anus and it works properly, then sometimes an ileal pouch (see below) can be created so that you can go to the bathroom as you did before you had cancer. However, often a permanent ileostomy (see below) is needed, particularly if the anus must be removed, is weak, or has been damaged.

From: Colorectal Cancer Surgery WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCE: The American Cancer Society. The National Institutes of Health - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on October 23, 2017

SOURCE: The American Cancer Society. The National Institutes of Health - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on October 23, 2017

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