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A colectomy is an operation to remove part or all of your colon. It’s also called colon resection surgery. You may need a colectomy if part or all of your colon has stopped working, or if it has an incurable condition that endangers other parts. Common reasons include colon cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases.

What is the colon ?

Your colon is part of your large intestine, where waste from the food you’ve been digesting is gradually solidified into poop. After your colon, your large intestine continues into your rectum and anus, where food waste exits your body.

What conditions does colectomy treat ?

Many problems can occur that may require part of your colon to be removed.

Conditions commonly treated with colectomy include :
  • Colon cancer : When cancer is found in your colon, it’s important to remove the portion of your colon with cancer to figure out the stage of cancer and help keep it from spreading.
  • Precancerous conditions : If a colonoscopy reveals changes in your colon that have a high risk of progressing to cancer, your healthcare provider may recommend removing that portion of the colon preventatively. You may also choose an elective colectomy if you have an inherited condition with a high likelihood of progressing to colon cancer, such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or Lynch syndrome.
  • Large bowel obstruction : If your colon is severely blocked and other treatments haven’t worked, surgery may be required to remove the blockage. A blockage may be caused by a twist (volvulus) or narrowing (stricture) of the large intestine.