Hemicolectomy is a procedure performed for Crohn’s disease, diverticular disease, trauma, and bowel cancer. Hemicolectomy is a form of surgery performed in treating colon cancer.
During the procedure the affected large bowel is removed as well as the lymph nodes that surround. After the affected portion is removed the remaining bowel is joined together through the procedure called anastomosis.
What is Hemicolectomy?
The colon or the large bowel is a tube in the intestine that runs from the stomach towards the back passage. From the right side it runs right ribs, crosses the upper part of the stomach down to the left side. From there, it moves backwards to the pelvic area to the rectum. Nowadays, lots of people are affected with colon cancer.
Since the large bowel is divided into four parts, right hemicolectomy is performed when the right side of the colon has cancer cells. During the operation the patient is given general anesthesia in order to sleep throughout the procedure. The skin is cut about 40cm long in order to cut the affected part of the colon and joined it afterwards.
However, there are instances in which patients prefer not to join the ends together as it is safer to channel the waste through colostomy. The patient should stay in the hospital for about two weeks after the operation to ensure recovery. On the other hand, if the affected area is on the left side the procedure is called left hemicolectomy. There is also an instance in which the transverse colon is removed.
Before hemicolectomy is performed, the patient is required to trim down the weight in case of overweight and to quit smoking. In like manner, patients with heart and lungs problem should consult doctor so that the problem will be controlled. Before admission the patient is requited to clean the bowel. There are series of special tests to do before the operation that is why you should bring all the medicines you are taking to the hospital.
After hemicolectomy the wound will be dressed but a drainage tube called colostomy is connected. Despite the discomfort, the patient is required to get up from bed a day after the procedure. Little by little you need to spend at least 2 hours a day until the pain is gone.
You should anticipate that you might become forgetful and clumsy due to the effect of the anesthesia. As you go home you should follow the instructions of the doctor to improve your condition. You could not return to your usual activity unless you have not completely recuperated from the operation.
If you notice something unusual with the wound you should report immediately to your doctor to avoid complications. Injectable medications are given to prevent blood clotting in the leg. This is because the patient would experience swelling and pain in either leg.
Keep in mind that hemicolectomy is a major procedure that is why a patient should anticipate that it would take some time to regain the normal stamina and you should not exert too much force otherwise you might experience complications that would worsen the condition.