The Hartmann procedure involves the surgical removal of the rectum.
The Hartmann procedure is an operation in which the rectum and part of the intestine are surgically removed. This procedure is sometimes performed as an emergency procedure in cases where the bowel is perforated or obstructed. The Hartmann procedure is sometimes performed on people with colorectal cancer, when those parts of the gastrointestinal system are so diseased that they no longer work.
With the Hartmann procedure, the rectum and part of the intestine are surgically removed.
Before undergoing a Hartmann operation, the patient may be evaluated for their general physical health. This general health check is performed to determine if he or she is fit enough to undergo this physically stressful procedure. The health check may include X-rays, an EKG, and blood tests. This preparation can only be carried out for a planned procedure, however, because when the operation is performed on an emergency basis, there may not be enough time for a full series of tests.
A colostomy bag is a removable, disposable bag used to collect waste from an individual who has had a colostomy.
After the patient is under general anesthesia, the first stage of the Hartmann procedure is an incision made in the abdomen. Then the abdomen is opened to expose the intestine and rectum. The diseased parts of the tissue are then identified and removed. Then a stoma, or surgical hole, is created in the abdominal wall. The cut end of the intestine is connected to the stoma to allow fecal waste to leave the body.
The Hartmann procedure is performed under general anesthesia.
In the final part of the Hartmann procedure, the patient is placed with a colostomy, a small outer bag that collects waste. For some people, the colostomy is reversible; for others, it may be permanent. Whether the colostomy is reversible depends on individual circumstances and cannot always be predicted in advance.
From start to finish, the Hartmann procedure typically takes between two and four hours. After the operation, the patient will stay in the hospital for five to 12 days, depending on their general physical health and the outcome of the procedure. If the operation was performed as a treatment for cancer, the patient can start chemotherapy during this time.
For the first few days after the procedure, patients should generally follow a liquid diet to allow the bowel to heal. Most people can return to a modified version of their normal diet within a few days. Certain foods should be avoided to facilitate stoma and colostomy care. Dietary modifications can be discussed with a nurse, nutritionist or nutritionist before or after surgery.
Full recovery takes several weeks. During this time, it is best to avoid lifting weights and other strenuous activities. Long periods of inactivity should also be avoided, however, to prevent complications such as thrombosis. A regimen of short bursts of light exercise or light activity, alternating with periods of rest, is recommended.