Am I a candidate for colectomy?
Colon cancer patients are the main candidates for this procedure, but some people who have a high risk of developing cancer may choose to have surgery in order to prevent developing cancer in the future.
Will I have laparoscopy or open surgery?
This depends on the size of the cancer, and while laparoscopic surgery is the preferred method, as it leads to less scaring, not every patient is eligible for it. Laparoscopic surgery tends to be used to treat smaller cancers that require a short section of the colon to be removed, while open surgery is required for bigger tumors.
How do I prepare for colectomy?
Your doctor will ask you to stop taking certain medications a couple of days before the procedure, in addition to instructing you to do bowel prep in order to keep your intestines clean for the surgery, this includes taking laxatives and only drinking clear liquids or broths the day before the surgery.
How much of my colon needs to be removed?
This is related directly to the extent of cancer. Earlier stages of cancer only require a small section to be removed, while late-stage cancer might need the complete removal of the bowels.
How will my diet change after surgery?
Patients who had a small part of their colon removed won’t have to drastically change their diets, however, it’s recommended that all patients spend the first 6 weeks after the surgery on a low-fiber diet and drink more water than usual in order to reduce their number of bowel movements and to improve their recovery.