A colectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of your colon is called a colectomy and is performed in order to treat or prevent diseases and conditions that may affect your colon.

There are 4 main types of colectomy surgeries:

  • Total Colectomy – involves removing the entire colon.
  • Partial Colectomy – involves removing part of the colon and may also be called subtotal colectomy.
  • Hemicolectomy– involves removing the right or left portion of the colon.
  • Proctocolectomy – involves removing both the colon and rectum.

Colectomy surgery usually requires other procedures to reattach the remaining portions of your digestive system and to allow waste to leave your body.

All robotic procedures are done in an operating room, with a specially trained surgical staff. You will be under general anesthesia, and constantly monitored by an anesthesiologist. To begin the procedure, the surgeon makes 4 – 6 small incisions in the abdomen, which is then inflated with carbon dioxide to give the surgeon room to work.

Specially designed surgical instruments and a tiny camera will be attached to robotic arms and precisely inserted through the incisions. The surgeon then sits at a nearby console, controlling every movement of the robot arms in order to perform the surgery.

If the colectomy is done in the colon, the surgeon:

  1. Cuts the colon on either side of the diseased segment
  2. Removes the segment through one of the incisions
  3. Inserts a seal and sutures the two new ends together

If the colectomy is done in the rectum, the surgeon:

  1. Carefully resects (or frees) the rectum from where it is attached
  2. Ties off the blood supply
  3. Divides the rectum to separate the part that needs to be removed
  4. Removes the selected section
  5. Puts everything back together

Once the procedure is complete, the camera and surgical instruments are removed and the abdominal incisions sutured. If a colostomy is needed, it is created at one of the incisions sites.

People who undergo a robotic colectomy stay in the hospital3-4 days,are often back to work in 2 weeks and experience much less pain than patients who undergo open colectomy. Also, robotic surgery gives the surgeon flexible surgical instruments that mimic the movements of the surgeon’s wrist, a 3D field of view at the console and a magnified field of view. A better experience for the surgeon often means a better outcome for the patient, including less chance of complications.

The overall complication rate for colectomies is very low but with any open procedure, there is an increased risk of post-surgery infection, breakthrough bleeding and blood clots. The seal at the new connection point of the intestine fails in 1-3% of cases. With laparoscopic colectomy, there is in increased of damaging the nerves that affect the bladder, and in men, the nerves that affect sexual function.

With robotic colectomy, complications are uncommon.

For more information on the best South Texas colorectal surgeons, or to schedule a second opinion, please contact our Concierge Patient Coordinator at (210) 490-2828 or toll free at (866) 259-3778.