Bowel Resection for Colorectal Cancer
What To Expect After Surgery
Bowel resection requires Reference general anesthesia Opens New Window. You may stay in the hospital for 4 to 7 days or as long as 2 weeks after surgery.
Sometimes the two parts of the colon or rectum cannot be reattached, so the surgeon performs a Reference colostomy Opens New Window. This creates an opening, called a stoma, on the outside of the body for the stool, or feces, to pass through into a colostomy bag. Usually the colostomy is temporary, until the colon or rectum heals. If the lower part of the rectum has been removed, the colostomy is permanent. Most people who have colon cancer don't need a colostomy.
Treatment after bowel resection may include radiation therapy and chemotherapy, in case there are any cancer cells remaining. Reference Radiation therapy Opens New Window uses X-rays to kill cancer cells. Reference Chemotherapy Opens New Window uses drugs—given either as pills or through a needle—to kill them.
Follow-up care is important because colorectal cancer can come back after surgery, especially if it was not discovered when it was in an early stage.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: August 27, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Kenneth Bark, MD - Surgery, Colon and Rectal