Large bowel resection, also known as colon resection, is the surgical removal of the diseased portion of the large bowel (otherwise known as the large intestine or colon). An incision is made in the abdomen, and then the diseased part of the large intestine (colon) is removed. The two healthy ends are then sewn back together and the incision is closed.

If it is necessary to spare the colon from its normal digestive work while it heals, a temporary opening of colon onto the skin of the abdominal wall (colostomy) may be done. The proximal end of the colon is passed through the abdominal wall and the edges sewn to the skin. A removable bag is then attached to the skin around the colostomy and the stool then passes into the bag. In most cases, depending on the disease process being treated, colostomies are temporary and can be closed with another operation at a later date.

If a large portion of the bowel is removed or the distal end of the colon is too diseased to reconnect to the proximal intestine, the colostomy may be permanent.

What are the Risks?

As with any surgery, risks include infection and bleeding. Anesthesia-related risks include reactions to medications and problems with breathing.

Additional risks include:

  • Bulging through the incision
  • Narrowing (stricture) of the opening
  • Blockage of the intestine from scar tissue

Indications for Surgery

Large bowel (colon) resection is recommended for a variety of diseases and conditions, including:

  • Cancer (In some cases, radiation oncology may be used along with surgery for cancer treatment)
  • Diverticulitis
  • Blockage of the intestine (intestinal obstruction) due to scar tissue
  • Ulcerative colitis, which does not respond to medical therapy
  • Traumatic injuries
  • Pre-cancerous polyps
  • Familial polyposis

Why Have This Procedure at the UM Medical Center?

Surgeons at the University of Maryland are experts in performing this procedure, and some exclusively perform this procedure only. Physicians at the University of Maryland Medical Center work together in comprehensive, multidisciplinary teams to provide evaluation and surgical treatment for a variety of disorders.

Using the latest and most sophisticated surgical techniques, our physicians offer a complete range of diagnostic and specialized treatment services.

Outpatient Locations

11340 Pembrooke Square
Suite 202
Waldorf, MD 20603

5890 Waterloo Rd.
Columbia, MD 21045