What Is Anterior Resection Of Rectum ?
The bowel is a tube of intestine which runs from the stomach to the back passage. The lower half of the bowel is called the colon. The colon runs from the right side of the waist line, up to the right ribs, loops across the upper part of the belly and passes down the left side. There it runs backwards into the pelvis as the back passage, where it is called the rectum. With an Anterior Resection the left side of the colon and upper rectum is removed (resectioned), and the ends are joined up whenever possible.
Preparing For The Operation
- Overweight candidates must try to reduce weight
- Stop smoking
The surgery is performed under general anaesthetic.An incision is made in the skin to the left of the navel about 40 cm (15 inches) long. The left side of the colon loop and the upper rectum are freed from the inside. The diseased portion is then removed, normally the ends are reconnected. Sometimes it is safer if the ends are not reconnected and the bowel waste is then channeled through the bowel which opens in the front of the abdomen (a colostomy).
The candidate will need to wear a bag. Usually the ends of the colon can be joined up at a later date. Sometimes the ends are joined up at the first operation, but a short term colostomy is made as well. This keeps the bowel waste away from the join while it is healing up.
Very rarely, if the problem area is in the lower part of the rectum, at operation, the back passage may need to be removed as well. You would be warned about this before the operation.
After Surgery - In The Hospital
The patient will have a fine plastic tube, to drain the stomach, coming out of the nose. Swallowing may be a little uncomfortable. The wound will have a dressing and a drainage tube. The patient may have had a colostomy. The medical staff will administer pain medication. The day after surgery the patient should be able to get out of bed and start moving around.
For a few days the candidate will have a fine drainage tube in the penis or front passage to drain the urine from the bladder until they are able to get out of bed easily.
After a few days the patient will be be eating and drinking normally. They will be allowed to stay in the family accommodation where they will have privacy and be able to rest in comfort with their companion. The patient will be able to return home after 10 - 14 days.
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