When do you need colorectal surgery?
You may have to undergo colorectal surgery if you are suffering from any of these diseases:
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohn’s disease
- Mechanical bowel obstruction
- Colorectal cancer
- Recurrent diverticulitis
- Rectal prolapse
- Proctological disorders: piles, fissure, and fistula
Different types of colorectal surgeries
1. Laparoscopic hemicolectomy: This surgery is generally done to treat bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease or severe diverticulitis or colon cancer. In this procedure, the surgeon will remove the damaged or diseased section of the intestine and re-join the healthy parts. During Laparoscopic hemicolectomy, the surgeon will operate through several small cuts made in the abdomen. It is also called keyhole surgery. As this is a major operation, you will need around 1-2 weeks to recover. Depending on your overall condition, you may require about 3-7 days stay at the hospital.
2. Laparoscopic anterior resection: This surgery is done to remove your diseased rectum(last part of the large bowel). The surgeon will operate through small incisions to remove the diseased area of your bowel and rectum. If it is necessary, a temporary stoma is made to divert the stools from the surgical site until it heals. You may have to stay around 4 to 8 days in the hospital, depending on your health. However, the hospital stay may get prolonged. It will take more than 4 to 6 weeks to recover from surgery.
3. Laparoscopic rectopexy: You may have to undergo this procedure if you are suffering from rectal prolapse. It is a condition wherein your rectum slides out of your anus. This surgery can be done either through an abdominal incision or laparoscopically. The surgeon will operate to put the rectum back in place and improve its functions. Your hospital stay will depend on your condition and the type of procedure you underwent. You will go home once you regain your bowel function. You will return to your normal activities within 4 to 6 weeks.
4. Laparoscopic diverticulitis surgery: Diverticulitis is a condition when the small pouches in the large intestine become inflamed. Generally, they are treated with medication and diet changes, but if the treatment fails and the condition causes severe pain and other symptoms, the doctor may recommend surgery. Laparoscopic diverticulitis surgery is done through small cuts as opposed to open surgery, where the surgeon has to make a big incision about 6 to 8 inches long. After the surgery, you may have to stay around 2 to 7 days in the hospital. Usually, most people return to their daily activities within two weeks.
5. Laparoscopic stoma creation and revision: Stoma is an opening that is created for fecal diversion. It may be temporary or permanent. A temporary one is made when a section of diseased bowel is removed, and it needs time to heal, whereas permanent stoma creation is needed if the anus and rectum have been removed. In Laparoscopic stoma creation, the surgeon can perform the surgery through tiny incisions. You will be discharged after 3 to 4 days after your laparoscopic surgery. For complete recovery, you will need around 4 weeks.
Diagnosis of Colorectal Disorders
If you’re experiencing symptoms of a colorectal disorder, make an appointment with your surgeon. They can help detect the cause of your signs by ordering a variety of tests including,
- Blood tests
- Diagnosis of Stool
- Rome criteria: The Rome process and Rome criteria are an international effort to create scientific data to help diagnose and treat functional gastrointestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, functional dyspepsia, and rumination syndrome.
- Computed Tomography (CT) scans
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Biopsy of the small intestine
Importance of Screening
Nearly all colorectal cancers begin as polyps, benign growths in the colon, and rectum's tissue lining. Cancer occurs when these polyps grow, and abnormal cells expand, invading the surrounding tissue. Removal of polyps can stop the spread of colorectal cancer. It is possible to remove most non-cancerous polyps painlessly using a colonoscope, a lighted, flexible tube. If not detected in the initial stage, colorectal cancer can grow throughout the body. More advanced cancer needs more complex surgical techniques. Most early forms of colorectal cancer don't show symptoms, which makes screening particularly important. When symptoms do occur, cancer might already be quite advanced. Hence, early screening can help to cure in the initial stages.
Types of Colorectal diseases
Functional Colorectal Diseases
Structural Colorectal Diseases
- Functional Colorectal Diseases
Functional disorders are those in which the GI tract looks normal but works poorly. These are the most common problems affecting the GI tract, including the colon and rectum.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disease in which the colon muscle contracts more often than in people without IBS. Specific foods, medications, and stress are some factors that can trigger IBS.
- Structural Colorectal Disorders
Structural disorders are conditions in which the bowel appears abnormal and also works incorrectly. If the condition worsens, your surgeon can remove the abnormality surgically.
Hemorrhoids are inflamed and enlarged blood vessels in the lining of the anal opening. The chronic excess pressure from stretching during a bowel movement, persistent diarrhea, or pregnancy may cause hemorrhoids.
- Anal fissures
Anal fissures are cracks or gaps in the lining of the anal opening. The common cause of an anal fissure is the passage of very hard or watery stools. It is a most painful condition as the exposed muscles get irritated on exposure to stool or air, causing intense burning pain, bleeding, or spasm after bowel movements.
- Diverticular disease
Diverticulosis is the formation of small outpouchings (diverticula) in the muscular wall of the large intestine. They usually appear in the sigmoid colon, the high-pressure region of the lower large intestine.
- Colon polyps and cancer
A colon polyp is a small cluster or mass of cells formed on the lining of the colon. Most colon polyps are naive, but some can develop into fatal colon cancer. They are of two types, non-neoplastic and neoplastic.
Symptoms of Colorectal disorders
- Discomfort or pain in your abdomen
- Gas and abdominal bloating
If you observe blood in your stool, contact your doctor immediately. Other signs of a potentially critical condition include fever and sudden weight loss.
Causes of Colorectal disorders
- Environmental factors, such as diet
- Microbial and immunologic factors
- Family history of Crohn’s disease
If you experience any of the discussed symptoms, may sure to plan a consultation with our expert Gastroenterologist Dr. Samrat Jankar. He will offer you the best suitable and productive treatment.