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Laparoscopic Colectomy

What is a laparoscopic colectomy? What are the benefits of this procedure?
A laparoscopic colectomy is a procedure in which a surgeon uses several small incisions, special instruments, a videoscope, and TV monitors to remove a section of the colon. The benefits of this procedure are a shorter hospital stay, a quicker return to eating solid foods, less pain after surgery, and faster healing.

What are the risks of this procedure?
As with any surgery, there is a risk of bleeding, infection and damage to surrounding structures and organs and a leak at the site of the bowel anastomosis. With laparoscopic surgery, the risk of damage to surrounding structures and organs is minimal and is certainly no greater than open surgery.

Will I need any tests before my surgery?
Your doctor may order a colonoscopy and some blood work. Depending on your state of health, some additional tests may be ordered, such as an ECG or chest X-rays.

How should I prepare for my surgery?
The night before your surgery, you will be required to take a prescribed “bowel prep.” This clears your colon of any contents and lessens the risk of infection. Specific information about the bowel prep will be given to you at your clinic appointment. You should not eat or drink anything after midnight. Do not smoke, chew tobacco or gum the morning of your surgery. A nurse will call you with information on when to come to the hospital and where to register for surgery. Bring any comfort items from home that you may need for a short hospital stay.

How long will I be in the hospital? When will I be able to return to work?
You will be in the hospital three to five days. Occasionally, some patients stay longer. You will be able to return to work and your normal routine in approximately two to three weeks. You should avoid heavy lifting for a few weeks after your surgery.

What should I expect after my surgery?
While in the hospital, you will be on a clear liquid diet until you begin passing flatus (gas). Your diet then will be advanced as tolerated to a soft diet. You may stay on a soft diet for a few days. This allows the colon to heal and to return to normal bowel functions. In some instances, you may have a urinary catheter for a few days. You will receive information specific to your diagnosis. This may include dietary needs, explanations of follow-up care, and other treatment options.

If you have any questions, please contact the Minimally Invasive Surgery office at (859) 257-3253. A nurse will return your call.

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Page last updated Wednesday, April 20, 2011