Colon and rectal surgery is a branch of medicine that deals with the surgical treatment of diseases of the colon, rectum, and anus. This type of surgery is used to treat a wide range of conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease, diverticulitis, colon and rectal cancer, and other conditions affecting the lower digestive tract.
Colon and rectal surgery is typically performed by a surgeon who has completed specialized training in this field. This type of surgery can be performed using traditional open surgery or minimally invasive techniques, such as laparoscopic surgery or robotic-assisted surgery.
One of the most common conditions treated with colon and rectal surgery is colorectal cancer. This type of cancer is the third most common cancer in the world, and it affects both men and women equally. Colon and rectal surgery is often used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for colorectal cancer, along with chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
There are several different types of colon and rectal surgery that may be performed to treat colorectal cancer. The most common types of surgery include:
- Colectomy: This is a surgical procedure that involves removing all or part of the colon. Depending on the location and stage of the cancer, the surgeon may remove the entire colon or only a portion of it.
- Rectal resection: This is a surgical procedure that involves removing all or part of the rectum. This type of surgery may be performed if the cancer is located in the lower part of the rectum.
- Colostomy: This is a surgical procedure that involves creating an opening in the abdominal wall through which waste can pass. This may be necessary if the entire colon or rectum has been removed.
In addition to treating cancer, colon and rectal surgery may be used to treat other conditions affecting the lower digestive tract. For example, surgery may be used to treat diverticulitis, a condition in which small pouches called diverticula form in the colon and become inflamed. Surgery may also be used to treat inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Minimally invasive surgery, such as laparoscopic and robotic-assisted surgery, is becoming increasingly common in the field of colon and rectal surgery. These types of surgeries involve smaller incisions, less pain, and a shorter recovery time than traditional open surgery.