Sigmoid colon resection is the surgery conducted for removing the sigmoid region of the large intestine. The laparoscopic method is usually done to minimize hospital stay and postoperative complications.
A surgical procedure that involves removing a diseased part of the large intestine is called a colectomy. This includes the sigmoid colon resection. Sigmoid colon is an S-shaped portion measuring about 46 cm that connects the descending colon with the rectum. It does the functions of storing wastes just before defecation, and vigorous contraction for expelling wastes via the rectum. This surgery is suggested as the last alternative, when therapeutic medications do not work in treating diseases related to this lower portion of the large intestine.
Common bowel problems that require excising this organ are bulging of pouches and their rupture (chronic diverticular disease), and growth of cancerous polyps. In medical terminology, this resection is known as sigmoidectomy. In case the procedure encompasses excision of the rectum, then it is called proctosigmoidectomy.
Who Needs the Procedure?
In case of severe pain or malfunctioning of this part, laboratory tests are performed to check for underlying conditions. Treatment options vary based on the results. Patients who are diagnosed with perforated diverticulitis and abnormal growth of abscess, polyp, cancer, or trauma in the area may be suggested to undergo this process to avoid future complications. One should get the procedure done by an experienced colorectal surgeon to minimize risks factors associated with surgery.
There are two types of surgery, namely, the conventional open surgery and the laparoscopic procedure. Unless there are other accompanying medical conditions, the latter is always preferred. Its advantages include less postoperative pain, shorter hospital stay, and quicker recovery. However, the concerned doctor is the best person to decide which procedure is the best for the candidate after examining his/her general health condition.
In this operation, 3-4 small incisions are made in the abdomen. A laparoscope along with other surgical instruments are introduced in the abdomen via the incisions. The surgeon monitors the abdominal organs, and sigmoid colon is cut carefully. After the procedure, the incisions are stitched or closed with surgical tape. The candidate is then shifted to a recovery room for further health monitoring. Pain medications are advocated to manage painful symptoms.
The recovery period is shorter as compared to the open method. In the recovery duration, candidates are suggested to change bandages and dressing at regular intervals. This is to minimize risk of infections, and to promote quick healing of the injured areas. Also, they should refrain from rigorous exercise and lifting heavy objects, at least for the first 1 ½-2 months after surgery. If everything goes well with postoperative care, recovery is expected within a few weeks period.
Even though laparoscopy poses less risks, mild complications still exist. Pain intensity that increases even after 2-3 days and fever symptoms should not be neglected, as they may indicate postoperative complications. During the colectomy recovery period, one should check for infection signs, like increased redness, warm sensation, swelling, and pus formation in the incision areas. In such cases, consult the doctor without delay.
In a nutshell, the success rate of this procedure is really impressive. Majority of the patients recover completely without severe health complications. For achieving prompt results, candidates are expected to follow the surgeon’s recommendations, especially in terms of postoperative care, hygiene maintenance, and more importantly, colectomy diet plan. Most likely, the incision areas heal quickly without leaving noticeable scars. However, scarring is expected with open surgery, which will lighten slowly.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.