COLON CANCER SURGERY
To treat colon cancer, surgical removal of the affected portion of the colon is necessary. After the growth and surrounding portion of the colon are removed, the colon is reconnected and normal bowel function is restored. At the same time, we take out regional lymph nodes in order to assess if the cancer has spread so that we can appropriately treat you.
Prior to surgery, we will want to check if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body and may order certain blood tests and scans to assess this. If your cancer has spread, chemotherapy may be needed as an adjunct and we will assist you in streamlining the process by working with your oncologist.
At Suncoast Surgical, we are trained in the most advanced techniques to perform all colon surgeries using minimally invasive techniques. This leads to less pain and decreased length of hospital stay. We perform all our colon surgeries with two surgeons and are proud of our outcomes.
PREPARING FOR COLON SURGERY
Prior to surgery you should review any prescriptions you take with your doctor, since some may need to be discontinued a week or days before your colon surgery, such as drugs that interfere with blood clotting such as aspirin and Plavix.
You will either have a phone or in-person interview with the hospital anesthesia team to discuss your procedure. They will notify you of medications you should stop or take the day of surgery and let you know what time you should come in for your surgery. You will be asked to come in a few hours earlier than your scheduled surgery time.
A “prep” in order to clean your colon out prior to surgery is often required. We will go over the specific prep required for your surgery at your consultation.
On the day of your surgery:
- No eating or drinking after midnight the night before your surgery
- Take any drugs your doctor said you may take with a sip of water
- Shower the night before or the morning of your surgery
AFTER COLON SURGERY
Most patients can expect to stay in the hospital from two to seven days depending on how they progress.
You will soon be started on a clear liquid diet and advanced as appropriate to a soft diet until healing is complete.
You will be seen in our office over the next couple months. You should begin to feel normal again after about six weeks, but should avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise as these may increase the possibility of hernia formation. You may still tire easily for several months as your body finishes the healing process. You should be sure to rest whenever you feel fatigued.
You may be able to resume normal activities after six weeks, and should expect to take time off from work for four to six weeks.
After you have healed, you should follow a high-fiber, well-hydrated, low-fat diet as you resume your daily lifestyle. Fiber supplementation is often necessary as many diets have inadequate amounts of fiber. The daily recommended fiber intake is 30-40gm of fiber depending on your age, stature and weight. Supplements come in all forms, dissolvable powders, capsules and candies. They are well-tolerated and will promote good intestinal health.