Bowel problems aren’t uncommon, and many issues can be managed with medication or other conservative options. Sometimes, though, colon surgery (or colectomy) is the most appropriate option for treating more complex or severe problems and preventing serious complications.
Desert West Surgery is a leading provider of state-of-the-art colon surgery in Las Vegas, Nevada, using the most advanced techniques and technology based on each patient’s unique needs. Here are six conditions where our team may recommend colon surgery as the best choice for your health.
#1: Colon cancer
About 105,000 Americans will be diagnosed with colon cancer this year. For those men and women, colon surgery can play a vital role in removing cancerous tissue and improving their health outlook. During colon surgery, our team removes cancerous tissue while preserving as much healthy tissue as possible.
Diverticulitis happens when tiny pouches (diverticula) in your intestine get infected or inflamed. Many people with diverticulitis are treated without surgery, using a combination of medicines and lifestyle changes. But if you have multiple severe episodes, intense belly pain, a blockage or hole in your colon, or an uncontrollable infection, surgery is almost always necessary.
#3: Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are inflammatory bowel diseases that cause sores (ulcers) and inflammation inside your colon. While both conditions can be managed medically, in severe cases, sores can cause uncontrollable bleeding or rips in your intestine, two complications that require colon surgery.
#4: Twisted colon
Also called volvulus, a twisted colon is a medical emergency. The twisted portion of the bowel can prevent waste from moving, and without prompt medical care, blood flow can be cut off, causing part of the bowel tissue to die.
#5: Rectal prolapse
Rectal prolapse happens when your rectum drops down from its normal position and protrudes from your anus. Rectal prolapse can cause significant uncontrollable bowel leakage. In some cases, part of the rectal tissue can become trapped and die, creating a life-threatening situation. A prolapsed rectum won’t return to its normal position on its own. It requires surgery to correct.
#6: Uncontrolled bowel bleeding
Many types of bowel bleeding are benign, resolving independently or with medicine or other treatments. But when these nonsurgical options fail, surgery may be necessary to remove the damaged part of the bowel and stop excessive blood loss.
Colectomy: Traditional and minimally-invasive
Our team offers two approaches to colectomy:
- Traditional, using a larger incision in your belly
- Minimally-invasive, involving much smaller incisions
Some minimally-invasive surgeries use the daVinci® Surgical System, a robotic device that enhances our surgeons’ skills and can offer greater precision than other minimally-invasive techniques.
Minimally invasive surgery is typically associated with less tissue damage, less postoperative bleeding and discomfort, and faster healing and recovery. However, despite those relative benefits, it’s still not the best choice for all patients. Because our team is skilled in both traditional and minimally invasive surgeries, you can feel confident you’ll receive the best type of surgery for your needs.
If you’re having bowel symptoms, scheduling an exam is the best way to make sure you get the care you need to help prevent more serious problems. To learn more about the treatments our team offers, including state-of-the-art bowel surgery, call the office or book an appointment online today.