About Colectomy

The large bowel is also called the large intestine or colon.

  • Removal of the entire colon and the rectum is called a proctocolectomy.
  • Removal of all of the colon but not the rectum is called subtotal colectomy.
  • Removal of part of the colon but not the rectum is called a partial colectomy.

The large bowel connects the small intestine to the anus. Normally, stool passes through the large bowel before leaving the body through the anus.

Why the Procedure is Performed

Large bowel resection is used to treat many conditions, including:

  • A blockage in the intestine due to scar tissue
  • Colon cancer
  • Diverticular disease (disease of the large bowel)

Other reasons for bowel resection are:

  • Familial polyposis
  • Injuries that damage the large bowel
  • Intussusception (when one part of the intestine pushes into another)
  • Precancerous polyps
  • Severe gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Twisting of the bowel (volvulus)
  • Ulcerative colitis