Open surgery is the standard procedure for colon resection. Most resections are performed under general anesthesia (i.e., the patient is rendered unconscious). The abdomen is cleaned with an antiseptic, and a catheter may be inserted into the bladder to measure urine output and make sure the patient is well hydrated.

An incision is made in the abdomen and the diseased part of the colon is located. The surgeon seals the colon on both sides of the diseased portion. Then, the segment is removed and both seals are opened.

The anastomosis is made using a surgical stapler, or it may be sutured by hand. This procedure is done very carefully to avoid injuring the organs that are located close to the colon.

Operating time depends on the extent of disease and amount of intervention needed, but the procedure generally takes about 3 hours.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 31 Oct 2001

Last Modified: 17 Sep 2015