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Colorectal cancer, also known as colon cancer or bowel cancer; is the occurrence of cancer in the colon and the rectum region. Colorectal cancer may either be malignant or benign, the former spreads to other areas of the body whereas, the latter stays confined to its place. It is characterized by an abnormal growth of cells in the rectum or the colon.
The various surgical treatment options for colorectal cancer are:
1. Right colectomy: This procedure involves removal of the right part of the colon. A part of the small intestine, which is attached to the right side of the colon, known as ileum, is also removed.
2. Partial colectomy: In partial colectomy, only a portion of the colon that has been affected by cancer is removed. The remaining parts are fused together in a process called ‘Anastomosis’. This procedure does not cause much change in your bowel habits.
3. Total abdominal colectomy: In this procedure, the large intestine is removed from the body.
4. Abdominoperineal resection: Abdominoperineal resection involves removing the rectum, anus and the sigmoid colon (part of the intestine that leads to the rectum).
5. Total proctocolectomy: This is an extensive procedure wherein, both the colon and the rectum are removed. If the anus is weak or damaged, then it needs to be removed as well.
Apart from these procedures, there are other surgical procedures that complement the above procedures, they are:
1. Fecal diversion: This is a procedure where an opening is formed between the small intestine and the skin’s surface so that it facilitates the healing process.
2. K pouch: The K pouch also called continent ileostomy is a pouch, which is attached to the anus so that feces can be passed normally. The K pouch contains nipple valve that prevents leakage; it is emptied by inserting a catheter in the stoma.
3. Stomas: A stoma is an opening on the skin of the bowel. This is done when the normal route of bowel is disturbed after a surgery. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a general surgeon.