Colon Resection Overview

The large intestine, or colon, is the lower part of the digestive tract. Diseases of the colon are common, and more than one-half million surgical procedures are performed in the United States every year to treat them.

Indications for colon resections include:

During a colon resection, the diseased part of the bowel is removed and the two healthy sections of the colon are reattached. This is called an end-to-end anastomosis. If an anastomosis is not possible because of the extent of the disease or its location, the surgeon creates a colostomy. A temporary colostomy is made when the colon needs longer to heal after surgery and the anastomosis is performed later.

Types of Surgical Procedures

There are two types of colon resection: open surgery and laparoscopic surgery. The type of procedure performed depends on the diagnosis and the individual patient.

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

Published: 01 Nov 2001

Last Modified: 21 Dec 2011