Colon segmental resection
We consider colon segmental resection a primary treatment for patients with colon cancer. Also known as a colectomy, the procedure involves removing the cancerous section of the colon, along with a small margin of healthy tissue, before the normal tissue is reconnected.
When colon cancer is found in its early stages, we can perform some resections with a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure. This helps speed recovery times and reduces scarring and bleeding, and causes less pain and discomfort after surgery.
Colon segmental resection helps controls further spread of cancer to other parts of the body. It also can be used in conjunction with other advanced treatments.
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In addition, our patients benefit from our unique integrated environment. Surgical options are seamlessly blended with other advanced treatments, including medical and radiation therapies, naturopathic medicine and nutrition, as well as supportive services to offer the most complete care available.
How segmental resection works
During segmental resection, the cancer and a length of normal tissue on either side of the disease, as well as the nearby lymph nodes, are removed. Usually, about one-third of the colon is removed. More or less tissue could be taken depending on the exact size and location of the cancer.
Once the cancer is removed, the surgeon usually can reconnect the healthy parts. However, sometimes reconnection is not possible. In these cases, the surgeon creates a new path for waste to leave the body. The surgeon makes an opening (stoma) in the wall of the abdomen, connects the upper end of the intestine to the stoma, and closes the other end. The operation to create the stoma is called a colostomy. A flat bag fits over the stoma to collect waste, and a special adhesive holds it in place.
During a laparoscopic resection, three or four tiny cuts are made into the abdomen. A part of the colon and lymph nodes are removed without completely cutting open the patient. Research has shown that this method appears to be as effective as open surgery for earlier stage colon cancers. Plus, patients usually recover faster and have fewer scars, as laparoscopic incisions are smaller and cause less bleeding. But this procedure requires special training and skill. Therefore, it is essential to find a treatment facility with experience conducting this type of surgery.
A colon resection rarely causes major problems with digestive functions, and patients usually can eat within a few days of the surgery. For most people, the stoma is temporary, needed only until the colon heals from surgery. After healing takes place, the surgeon reconnects the parts of the intestine and closes the stoma. Rarely, if a tumor can’t be removed, or if it has blocked or damaged the colon, a patient may need a permanent colostomy.
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