Large bowel resection is surgery to remove all or part of your large bowel. This surgery is also called colectomy. The large bowel is also called the large intestine or colon.
- Removal of the entire colon and the rectum is called a proctocolectomy.
- Removal of part or all of the colon but not the rectum is called subtotal colectomy.
The large bowel connects the small intestine to the anus. Normally, stool passes through the large bowel before leaving the body through the anus.
Why the Procedure is Performed
Large bowel resection is used to treat many conditions, including:
- A block in the intestine due to scar tissue
- Colon cancer
- Diverticular disease (disease of the large bowel)
Other reasons to perform bowel resection are:
- Familial polyposis
- Injuries that damage the large bowel
- Intussusception (when one part of the intestine pushes into another)
- Precancerous polyps (nodes)
- Severe gastrointestinal bleeding
- Twisting of the bowel (volvulus)
The surgery to remove the gallbladder is called a cholecystectomy (say “co-lee-sist-eck-toe-mee”). During traditional surgery, the gallbladder is removed through a 5- to 8-inch-long incision (cut) in your abdomen. The cut is made just below your ribs on the right side and goes to just below your waist. This is called an open cholecystectomy.
A newer way to remove the gallbladder is called laparoscopic (say “lap-are-oh-skop-ick”) cholecystectomy. During this surgery, a laparoscope (a small, thin tube with a camera on the tip of it that is used to see the inside of your body) is used to remove the gallbladder. Several small incisions are used instead of one large incision.
An appendectomy (sometimes called appendisectomy or appendicectomy) (British English) is the surgical removal of the vermiform appendix. This procedure is normally performed as an emergency procedure, when the patient is suffering from acute appendicitis. In the absence of surgical facilities, intravenous antibiotics are used to delay or prevent the onset of sepsis; it is now recognized that many cases will resolve when treated perioperatively. In some cases the appendicitis resolves completely; more often, an inflammatory mass forms around the appendix, causing transruptural flotation. This is a relative contraindication to surgery.
Appendectomy may be performed laparoscopically (this is called minimally invasive surgery) or as an open operation. Laparoscopy is often used if the diagnosis is in doubt, or if it is desirable to hide the scarsin the umbilicus or in the pubic hair line. Recovery may be a little quicker with laparoscopic surgery; the procedure is more expensive and resource-intensive than open surgery and generally takes a little longer, with the (low in most patients) additional risks associated with pneumoperitoneum (inflating the abdomen with gas). Advanced pelvic sepsis occasionally requires a lower midline laparotomy.
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Endoscopy means looking inside and typically refers to looking inside the body for medical reasons using an endoscope, an instrument used to examine the interior of a hollow organ or cavity of the body. Unlike most other medical imaging devices, endoscopes are inserted directly into the organ. Endoscope can also refer to using a borescope in technical situations where direct line of-sight observation is not feasible.