Colon Cancer Surgery : What to Expect
The colon or the large intestine is part of the digestive system.
As the name sounds, the importance of the digestive system is to digest foods and absorb them.
What are the causes Of colont/rectal cancer
There are no known causes of colorectal cancer. By there are a few risk factors.
They include :
-genetics or family history
-Consumption of processed meat and red meat
Symptoms of Colonrectal cancer
- Asymptomatic, that’s no symptom
- Bleeding through the anus
- Swelling in your abdomen
- Abdominal pain
- Internal bleeding causing anaemia
- Weight loss
Treatment for colon rectal cancer
There are various treatment modalities for colon cancer. Generally, cancers have varying treatment modalities. Everything depends on the time of presentation and stage of the cancer.
I will just be talking about the surgery – Hemicolectomy – which was what we for our last patient
A78 year old man who presented with pain in the abdomen, constipation, weakness, and bleeding from the anus. He was examined and some investigations was done. He was found to be a cancer in the left colon. He was booked for surgery – left Hemicolectomy – that’s the removal of the left half of the colon – where the tumour is.
The loss of weight was due to the cancer, it drains the body of so many energy.
The weakness was due to the long term loss of blood both from the internal and external bleeding. This caused anaemia which presented with that weakness.
The constipation was because the lumen of the colon was blocked. Faeces was not passing as it should.
Before the surgery he was given about two bags of blood. To bring his blood level up because of the losses he has incured and the ones he will still loose during the surgery.
The left colon was removed. And the remaining right colon was joined to together. But there was spread to the liver. The cancer has metastasized to the liver.
What to Expect – colon cancer surgery
The basic thing is the time and stage of the cancer.
For this man’s case there is little than can be done.
Assuming it has not spread, the surgery would have made alot of change. The colon and the cancer would have been removed and that would have made alot of change.
The operation can last up to 3-4 hours depending on the expertise of the surgeon.
Complications Of colon and rectal cancer
1. Bleeding – The man was transfused even after the surgery because of the losses he had. So bleeding can be much. The doctor will have blood ready for transfusion.
2. Infection : The place the operation is done is your colon, the large intestine. And that’s the home of a whole lot of microorganisms. So infection is definitely gonna be there if adequate care is not taken.
Remember the colon will be cut open into two, so some faeces will definitely drop into the abdomen.
Your doctor will guard against this using a strong broad spectrum antibiotics to prevent infections.
3. Pain: The immediate post operative period could be painful to you. So adequate analgesia would be of help.
4. Blockage of the lumen : Remember what was done was to cut out some part of your intestine and join the two remaining ends. So in the process of stitching the two ends back,the lumen could be captured and get blocked. The solution here is all on the expertise of the surgeon.
Prevention of Colon and rectal cancer
1. Take alcohol easy
2. Stop smoking
4. Ask good questions about your family history of colon and rectal cancer