Colorectal surgery is usually performed by making incisions in the abdomen, opening up the intestinal cavity, and making the repair. Most of the repairs involve resection (cutting out the diseased or damaged portion) and anastomosis (attaching the cut ends of the intestine together). Often colorectal surgery involves creating an ostomy, which is an opening from the inside of the body to the outside, usually to remove bodily wastes such as faeces or urine.
Types of Colorectal Surgery
A Colostomy is a surgical procedure that brings a portion of the large intestine through the abdominal wall, creating an opening, also known as a stoma, to carry faeces out of the body to a pouch.
An Ileostomy removes the entire colon, the rectum, and the anus (if required). The lower end of the small intestine (the ileum) becomes the stoma. A pouch will generally be placed around the stoma on the patient’s abdomen during surgery. Some patients with colostomies are able to routinely irrigate the stoma, resulting in regulation of bowel function, rather than needing to wear a pouch. During the hospital stay, the patient and his or her caregivers will be given advice regarding the care of the stoma and the ostomy pouch.
Finally, a procedure called an Ileoanal Anastomosis is carried out to create an internal reservoir that is sewn to the anus and acts as an artificial rectum.
- Laparoscopic Surgery
For this surgery, the Colorectal Surgeon inserts a laparoscope (an instrument that has a tiny video camera attached) through a small incision in the abdomen. Further small incisions are made through which the Surgeon inserts surgical instruments. This surgery often results in fewer complications, a shorter stay in the hospital, less post-operative pain, a quicker return to normal activities and less scarring.