These are operations which often involve the removal of a part or sometimes the entire large bowel. The large bowel consists of the colon and the rectum and is illustrated in the diagram below.
Although these operations are often performed using the traditional ‘open’ method with a large cut across the abdomen, the laparoscopic (key-hole) method has the advantage of causing less post operative pain and patients are able to return to full activity in a shorter time.
The operation involves three or four small cuts in the abdominal wall through which the camera and operating instruments are inserted and then a moderate sized cut is made through which the resected bowel is removed. The two ends of bowel are then joined back with sutures or a special stapling device.
Before the operation
You will be seen in the clinic and will have opportunity to go through the details of the operation including the intended benefits, alternative procedures and potential risks.
Your general health will also be assessed (usually at a separate clinic appointment) with some simple tests and you will be reviewed by the anaesthetist either in this clinic or when you come in for your operation.
You will usually come into hospital a day before the operation.
Bowel preparation (cleansing with laxatives) is not usually required and you can usually eat and drink as normal until about six hours prior to the intended time of the operation. It may be recommended that you have a low residue diet for a couple of days before the operation.