In a sigmoid colectomy, the last section of the colon is removed.
A sigmoid colectomy is a surgery in which the sigmoid colon, or the last section of the colon, is removed because it is damaged or diseased. After this section is removed, surgeons will usually try to connect the rectum to the remaining part of the colon. After the procedure, a hospital stay is required and the patient can usually go home within a week or two.
IV fluids are usually needed after surgery.
Before a sigmoid colectomy, the patient should normally have their other medical conditions under control. For example, if he is overweight, doctors often require him to lose a few pounds before having surgery. Hypertension, along with heart and lung disease, must also be regulated. Most patients must also stop smoking before undergoing a sigmoid colectomy.
Most patients undergoing colectomy will need a temporary colostomy bag.
This procedure is performed only after the patient has received general anesthesia. After the patient falls asleep, the surgeon begins by making an incision in the lower abdomen. This incision is usually about 40 centimeters long.
The lower part of the large intestine and the upper part of the rectum are then pulled through the abdominal wall. Any diseased or damaged sections of that section of the colon are then removed. During a sigmoid colectomy, other parts of the colon may also need to be removed due to the spread of the disease.
Most patients must stop smoking before undergoing a sigmoid colectomy.
After a part of the colon is removed, surgeons usually try to connect the rest of the colon to the rectum. Often, a temporary colostomy can be used to keep waste away from areas that are healing. A colostomy is a hole in the abdomen that uses a drain to collect a person’s waste products in a bag instead of being expelled through the rectum. In a sigmoid colostomy where surgeons are unable to connect the rest of the colon to the rectum, the colostomy may be permanent.
An ultrasound can be used to detect problems with the sigmoid colon.
In the first few hours after a sigmoid colostomy, the patient is usually transferred to a recovery room. Here, his vital signs will usually be monitored, to make sure he hasn’t had an adverse reaction to the anesthesia. After being transferred to a regular room, he will usually need to stay in bed for at least a day. Tubes can be inserted into the stomach, and intravenous fluids are usually needed.
Patients can usually get up and move around, with help, within a day or two. This is usually very painful, but often the pain subsides within a week. Sutures at the incision site are usually removed after about seven to ten days.
A sigmoid colectomy must be performed under general anesthesia.
Most patients are usually discharged from the hospital within two weeks after a sigmoid colectomy. Before being discharged from the hospital, they will usually be educated on how to care for the colostomy, if necessary, as well as any activity limits. Many patients are able to resume their normal daily activities within a few months of the procedure.