Colon Surgery

Colon Surgery

Colon cancer occurs in the large intestine, or colon, the lower part of your digestive system. Most cases of colon cancer begin as small, benign clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps. Over time some of these polyps can become colon cancers. These Polyps may be small and produce few symptoms. For this reason, it is in your best interest to have regular screening tests to help prevent colon cancer by identifying polyps before they become colon cancer.

Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in both men and women. Colon cancer can understandably be a frightening diagnosis. Colon cancer is most often treated with surgery to remove the tumor, and possibly, chemotherapy and radiation. Eastern Surgical is equipped to employ the most advanced surgical procedures should surgery be determined as the most viable solution for cancer treatment. Our physicians will work with you to determine a course of action based on your health needs.

What are the types of surgery available to me?
Open

Until recently, all colon surgery was done using the open surgery method. In open colon surgery, your surgeon will remove the tumor, and if necessary part of the colon, through a single, large incision in the abdomen. You will need general anesthesia, and the surgery lasts 1.5 to 3 hours.

This is considered a more invasive approach than more modern alternatives. Also, open surgery can result in a painful and lengthy recovery. In most instances, we do not recommend open surgeries because laparoscopic surgeries result in minimal scarring and are equally safe. However, some patients have existing health conditions that require open surgery.

Laparoscopic

Laparoscopic colon surgery, involves the removal of the tumor, or if necessary part of the colon, through small incisions in the abdomen. Eastern Surgical uses as few incisions as possible.

Our surgeons then insert a lighted scope attached to a video camera, known as a laparoscope, into an incision near the belly button. The surgeon will then use a video monitor to guide the insertion of surgical instruments and the removal of your tumor.

You will need general anesthesia for this surgery, which usually lasts approximately 2 hours.

What should I expect following the operation?

Most patients spend between 1 and 5 days in the hospital. Patients opting for a laparoscopic procedure generally will stay 1-3 days, while open surgery patients generally stay 3-5 days.

At home, most patients need between 2-4 weeks before they are able to resume all activity that they could do before surgery. The most common complaint from patients is easy fatigue. It is best to ease back into your normal routine and ramp up slowly rather than going back full time. This allows you to determine tolerance is without overstretching yourself.