Prior to Procedure
Your doctor will likely do a physical exam and recommend blood tests.
Imaging tests take pictures of internal body structures. Imaging tests include:
Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to one week before the procedure, like:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Your doctor may recommend preparation several days in advance of your procedure. This may include:
- A special diet.
- Your colon must be completely cleaned out. A number of cleansing methods may be used. This may include enemas, laxatives, and a clear-liquid diet. You may be asked to drink a large container of solution. It will aid in the complete emptying of the colon. This preparation may start several days before the procedure.
- Antibiotics. It is important to take them as directed.
- A shower the night before your procedure using antibacterial soap.
- Wearing comfortable clothing.
- Arranging for a ride to and from the hospital.
- Arranging for help at home for the first days after your procedure.
Description of Procedure
The operation may be done either using a
or using standard open techniques. This description focuses on a standard open approach.
The doctor will make a cut in the skin over the area of intestine that needs to be removed. The cuts will pass through skin and muscle to reach the inside of the abdomen. The intestine will be clamped on either side of the piece that is to be removed. The intestine next to each clamp will be cut. The diseased portion of intestine will then be removed. The two loose ends of intestine will be sewn together. Some soft tubes may be left in the abdomen to drain any accumulating fluids.
If the procedure was done as an emergency, or if the doctor decides that the intestines need time to rest and heal, you may require a colostomy or ileostomy. In this procedure, an artificial opening will be created in your abdomen, called a stoma. One or both ends of the intestine will be attached to the stoma. This allows feces to exit your intestine through the stoma. It collects in a pouch called an ostomy bag. A colostomy may be left in place while your intestine heals.
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When your intestine has healed properly, you will undergo another operation. The ends of the intestine will be rejoined. If the majority of your large intestine has been removed, you may require a permanent colostomy.
The muscles and skin of the abdomen will be closed. Stitches or staples may be used. A sterile dressing will be applied.