A colectomy is a surgery used to remove all of the colon or just parts that are affected by disease. It is used for people who have:
- Polyps in the colon's lining
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Diverticular disease
- Colon or rectal cancer
There are two kinds of colectomies – laparoscopic or more traditional, open surgery.
During open colectomies, your physician will create an incision in the lower part of the abdomen. The colon will be removed and a bag will be placed outside of the body where waste will drain. This is also known as a colostomy. If only part of the colon is removed, the healthy ends are connected.
During a laparoscopic procedure, the same procedure is performed, but your physician makes three to five small incisions in the abdomen where a camera and other instruments are inserted. With a laparoscopic procedure, there is less scarring and a quicker recovery.
For more information on colectomies, see The National Institutes of Health.