What is Laparoscopic Colectomy: Overview, Benefits, and Expected Results

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Definition and Overview

A laparoscopic colectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that removes the colon or a part of it. It is also referred to as colon resection or bowel resection. There are many types of the procedure according to which part of the colon is removed. These include:

  • Right hemicolectomy – All or part of the ascending colon as well as the cecum are removed. Afterwards, the colon is reconnected to the small intestine.

  • Left hemicolectomy – All or part of the descending colon is removed. Afterwards, the transverse colon is reconnected to the rectum.

  • Sigmoid colectomy – During a sigmoid colectomy, all or part of the sigmoid colon is removed. The surgeon then reconnects the descending colon to what remains of the rectum.

Who Should Undergo and Expected Results

A laparoscopic colectomy surgery is performed when the diseased part of the colon has to be removed due to:

  • Cancer

  • Polyps

  • Bleeding

  • Obstruction or blockage in the colon

  • Volvulus

  • Diverticulitis surgery

  • Rectal prolapse

  • Irritable bowel disease

For most patients, colon removal is enough to cure their medical condition and resolve the following symptoms:

  • Rectal bleeding

  • Abdominal pain

  • Diarrhea

  • Constipation

  • Abnormal stool size

  • Weight loss

  • Anemia

  • Cramps

  • Vomiting

  • Fever

When compared to traditional open abdominal surgery, a laparoscopic colon removal surgery offers:

  • Faster colectomy recovery time

  • Shorter in-hospital stays

  • Less pain and bleeding from the incisions

  • Less scarring

However, not all patients are considered as good candidates for the procedure. Patients who have had previous abdominal surgery, are obese, or have advanced disease of the heart, lung, or kidney may not be qualified to undergo a laparoscopic procedure. In some situations, cancer can also be a disqualifying factor. Doctors will make a careful assessment of each patient and will order evaluative tests before recommending the surgery.

How is the Procedure Performed?

A laparoscopic colectomy is performed under general anaesthesia and requires the continuous monitoring of the patient’s blood pressure and breathing throughout the procedure.

It begins with the surgeon making several small incisions in the patient’s abdomen. One of these incisions is used to insert a tiny video camera while the others are for other special surgical tools that will be used to perform the procedure. The surgeon will also inflate the abdomen using carbon dioxide gas.

With visual guidance from a video screen, the surgeon uses the inserted tools to free the colon from the tissues that are holding it in place. The surgeon then suctions the colon through one of the inserted tubes to operate on it from outside the patient’s body. This may involve removing any diseased parts and repairing the remaining parts. If the surgeon only plans to remove a small part of the colon, he can also perform the procedure without bringing the colon out. The exact manner through which the procedure is performed depends on each individual situation or case.

Once the colon is repaired, the surgeon reinserts it into the patient’s body and reconnects it to the surrounding organs. There are many ways to reconnect the colon to allow the body to expel waste materials. These include:

  • Reconnecting the two remaining ends of the colon, which will restore normal bowel function.

  • Connecting the colon or small intestine to an abdominal opening (stoma). This will require patients to wear a bag outside of the opening to collect their stool.

  • Connecting the colon or small intestine to the anus. This becomes necessary when the rectum is also removed. This procedure allows patients to expel waste as normal, but they tend to have more frequent and watery stools.

After the procedure, the patient is taken to a recovery room until the anaesthesia wears off and then transferred to a regular hospital room where he will stay until he regains bowel function. Patients usually stay in the hospital for a couple of days up to a week. In general, however, colectomy recovery is shorter if the patient undergoes a laparoscopic procedure.

During the colectomy recovery period, patients are not able to eat solid foods at first. They will initially receive nutrition intravenously, before slowly transitioning to clear liquids. After a few days, the intestines are expected to recover and be able to digest solid foods.

After being discharged from the hospital, patients will still need to recover at home. It may take weeks before they can return to their normal activities.

Possible Risks and Complications

A colon resection surgery comes with certain risks. A patient’s overall risk of complications will depend on the state of his health prior to the procedure.

Potential complications of a colectomy include:

  • Bleeding

  • Deep vein thrombosis, or blood clot formation in the legs

  • Pulmonary embolism, or blood clot formation in the lungs

  • Injury to the bladder, small intestines, or other organs near the colon

  • Infection

It is also possible for the sutures connecting the colon to the other digestive organs to tear. This will require another procedure to repair the problem.

Generally, the risk of bleeding and infection is lower for laparoscopic colectomy patients due to the smaller incisions that are used during the procedure.


  • “Laparoscopic colectomy.” The Ohio State University, Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery. http://cmis.osu.edu/patient-care/colon/lapcolon/

  • Ahad S, Figueredo EJ. “Laparoscopic colectomy.” MedGenMed. 2007; 9(2): 37. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1994841/

  • Jaap Bonjer H, Deijen CL, Abis GA, Cuesta MA, et al. “A randomized trial of laparoscopic versus open surgery for rectal cancer.” The New England Journal of Medicine. 2015; 372:1324-1332. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1414882#t=article


What is Laparoscopic‌ Colectomy: Overview, Benefits, and Expected Results


Laparoscopic colectomy is a minimally invasive surgical approach to treat various conditions affecting the large intestine (colon) and rectum. This ‌procedure involves advanced laparoscopic techniques that offer numerous advantages over traditional open colectomies.

Indication for Laparoscopic Colectomy:

– Colon Cancer: Resection ⁤of cancerous portions of ⁢the colon

– Diverticulitis: Removal of ​diseased colon⁣ segments ⁣with diverticula⁣ (small pouches)

– Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s​ Disease: Treatment of severely affected colon segments

-​ Rectal Cancer: Resection of rectal ⁤tumors while preserving anal function

– Polyp Removal: Removing large or⁢ suspicious colon polyps

– Hirschsprung’s Disease: Correcting abnormal ⁢bowel movements caused by missing nerve cells

Benefits of Laparoscopic ‌Colectomy:

1. Minimally Invasive Surgery:

– Smaller incisions compared to open surgery, resulting in less pain, scarring, and a faster recovery.

– Shorter ‌Hospital Stay: Patients typically spend less time ⁢in the hospital post-surgery, facilitating quicker return to daily routines.

– Fewer Complications: Laparoscopic ⁢techniques often result in a lower risk ⁣of hernias, infections, and other surgical complications.

2. Improved Cosmetic Results:

– Smaller incisions in the abdomen lead to less visible scars, contributing to better ‌cosmetic outcomes.

3. Enhanced Recovery:

– Quick Recovery: Patients often experience a rapid recovery due to less invasive surgery and a shorter hospital stay. This allows them⁤ to resume normal activities sooner.

-⁤ Preserved Bowel Function:‍ Laparoscopic‍ colectomy often preserves​ bowel ​function,⁣ reducing⁣ the need for a colostomy‌ or‍ ileostomy (surgical diversion of the colon or small intestine).

4. Reduction ⁢in Blood​ Loss:

– Precise Instrumentation: Advanced ⁢laparoscopic instruments enable surgeons ​to minimize blood loss during colon resection, leading to better blood conservation⁢ and lower transfusion rates.

5. Improved Access:

– Surgeons utilize high-quality cameras to visualize the colon and surrounding‌ areas during laparoscopic colectomy. This enhances anatomical ‌clarity and allows ​targeted intervention.

Expected Results of Laparoscopic Colectomy:

– Successful Removal of Disease: Laparoscopic colectomy aims to completely remove the diseased colon or rectal tissue, often resulting in complete resolution of symptoms associated with the condition.

– Restoration of Normal Bowel Function: Patients can expect restoration of regular elimination ⁣patterns⁤ following surgery, with minimal‍ disruptions to their dietary⁢ or ⁤bowel habits.

– Long-Term Recovery: Laparoscopic colectomy generally leads to lasting recovery ⁢outcomes, with most patients experiencing a sense⁢ of​ normalcy⁤ in their daily lives.

Choosing ‍a Qualified Surgeon:

When seeking a laparoscopic colectomy, it is crucial to choose a skilled ⁢and experienced surgeon. ​Look for a board-certified specialist in colon and rectal surgery to​ ensure‍ optimal results.

Consultations and Pre-Surgery Preparations:

Before ⁢your laparoscopic colectomy, you will undergo comprehensive consultations with your​ surgeon. ​During these sessions,⁣ your surgeon will evaluate your medical history, assess potential risks and benefits, and provide ‌specific pre-surgery instructions to prepare you physically ⁤and mentally for the procedure.


Laparoscopic colectomy offers various‌ advantages, providing a minimally​ invasive ⁣and effective surgical option for treating conditions affecting the colon and rectum. With precise instrumentation and advanced techniques, this procedure results in minimal pain,​ a⁢ rapid recovery, and excellent cosmetic outcomes. Consulting a qualified surgeon is⁢ crucial ⁣to ​maximize the chances of ⁣a successful ‌laparoscopic⁣ colectomy and achieve optimal long-term ‌recovery outcomes.


  1. Laparoscopic Colectomy: Exploring Minimally Invasive Colon Surgery for Enhanced Patient Outcomes and Recovery

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