What Is Anterior Resection of the Rectum and Who Needs It?
An anterior resection of the rectum is a healthcare procedure used to treat rectal carcinoma. Specifically, anterior resection of rectum involves surgically removing the diseased left colon and rectum. In particular, it is used when the rectal carcinoma is more than 10 cm from the anal verge but below the recto-sigmoid junction. In simple terms, anterior resection of the rectum means cutting the part of the diseased rectum containing the tumor. The operation takes place above the anus and below the right colon. After the cut is made, both ends of the rectum are joined together.
The Anterior Resection of the Rectum Procedure
Anterior resection of the rectum is a major surgical procedure that could lead to certain complications. A patient considering this operation should first discuss with his or her healthcare team about all the possible problems and side effects of the surgery. The operation is performed using general anesthesia. A 15-inch long cut is made on the left side of the stomach and the colon. After the cut, the rectum is temporarily removed from the body. The diseased part is cut and the ends are joined together. These joined ends prohibit any bowel movements. Thus, a colostomy is performed wherein the bowel waste is collected in a pouch attached to the stomach until the joined ends are healed. A healthcare provider must educate the patient about managing the colostomy until the cut ends are joined. The operation requires the patient to stay for two weeks in the hospital. It is possible to return to light jobs after 6 weeks. However, returning to heavy jobs usually requires another 6 weeks of rest and intensive healthcare.
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