What to Expect If You Require Surgery for Colon Cancer

If you have been recently diagnosed with Colon Cancer, or otherwise known as √Ęcolorectal cancer√Ę you are probably looking into and researching possible treatments. If your condition is advanced you will more than likely require Colon Cancer Surgery to remove the tumor or growth.

How Does Colon Cancer Develop?

Colon cancer typically develops from polyps found in the colon and rectum. These tumors un-detected can turn into very advanced forms of cancer and can spread through the body.

What Does the Surgery Entail?

There are multiple types of Colon Cancer surgeries to remove the cancerous tumor. Most often, curative surgery methods are used which involves removing the polyp from the colon. If your tumor is in an advanced stage, it will require that the section containing the cancerous growth is removed and the remaining parts of your colon are fused together.

Before the surgery begins, the colon is cleansed completely in order to reduce any risk of infection. The cleansing is done using strong laxatives and enemas or drinking one gallon of a cleansing fluid the night before the surgery.

The surgery is always done under general anesthesia while the patient is sleep. With new medicinal technologies like laparoscopy, the incision is hardly noticeable once it heals. After the abdomen is entered, the infected part of the colon is removed by surgery and the remaining parts of the colon are connected, fused or anatomized together.

If the cancer occurs in the lower rectum or anus, the doctor might have to make another incision in the rectum or near it. Since the cancer occurs towards the end of the rectum, there may be no colon left after the surgery to attach the remaining colon to. If such an incident occurs, then the remaining colon is rerouted to outside the abdomen. This is known as colostomy. This is usually done when the surgeon thinks that the anastomosis will not be successful or if the colon is not clean enough.

What can I expect after surgery?

Depending on the severity of your case, you may require chemotherapy to continue the treatment of the cancerous growth. If you have detected the cancer early enough, the simple removal of the polyp may be enough and you will not require chemotherapy.

Your doctor and surgeon will want you to follow-up with several exams to determine the success of your surgical procedure.

Your post operative follow-ups are critical to the healing process. It is important during this period that you verify all the cancer has been removed and has not metastasized to other parts of your body.

The key is early detection.

What can I eat after my operation?

It is not advisable to become eating directly after your procedure. More than likely you will be fed with a feeding tube to let your GI and small intestines heal properly in the first few days following your surgery.

The proper diet is critical to your healing process. A good diet will help your immune system and will help you decrease the risk of infection which can occur after your surgical procedure.
Your physician will help lay out a solid diet with a nutritionist. Make sure you follow their advice. You will notice that your appetite will vary from day to day after the surgery, but do the best you can to eat normal and do not force yourself to eat if your body is telling you not to. Smaller meals may be better than three large meals while you are healing.
Try your best to avoid greasy foods. These will upset your stomach after your operation. In addition, fluids are extremely important. Make sure you get at least eight (8) glasses of water a day and plenty of fluids while you recover.