What is Intestinal Cancer Surgery?

Colon cancer is cancer in the large intestine, the final part of the digestive tract. It is also called colorectal cancer that begins in the rectum.

Colon cancer can usually occur at any age, in older adults, though it can happen at any age. Initially, cancer begins as small benign clumps of cells called polyps. With time some of these polyps can develop into colon cancers.

Polyps are small and produce few symptoms. For this reason, doctors recommend removing this through a surgical procedure.

Many treatments, including surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy, are used to treat colon cancer.

Surgery for Colon Cancer

Surgery is the primary treatment for early-stage colon cancers and depends on the extent of cancer and the Surgery goal.


In Some early colon cancers, most polyps can be removed by a colonoscopy. This procedure involves using a long flexible tube with a camera on the end that’s put into the rectum into the colon. Colonoscopy includes the following surgeries:

  • Polypectomy: the cancer is separate as part of the polyp, cut at its base. A wire loop is used and passed through the colonoscope to cut the polyp off with an electric current.
  • Local Excision: In this procedure, local excision is used through the colonoscope, which removes small cancers present on the inside lining of the colon. A small amount of surrounding healthy tissue on the wall of the colon is also removed.

The doctor will not cut the abdomen when cancer or polyps are removed this way. The intention of these two procedures is to remove the tumor in one piece.


One of the colon or the entire colon and nearby lymph nodes is removed through a colectomy.

  • HEMICOLECTOMY: If only a part of the colon is removed, then it’s a hemicolectomy. The surgeon will take cancer out along with a small amount of the colon on the other side. Usually, more or less, one-fourth to one-third of the colon is removed. The remaining parts of the colon are reattached. Almost 12 nearby lymph nodes are also removed.
  • TOTAL COLECTOMY: it involves removing the entire colon used only if there’s another problem in the part of the colon without cancer e.g. Familial adenomatous polyposis or, sometimes, inflammatory bowel disease.

How colectomy is done

There are two ways to perform a colectomy:

  • Open colectomy: The surgeon will cut the abdomen through a single long incision.
  • Laparoscopic-assisted colectomy: The surgeon will make many smaller incisions and use special tools. A laparoscope is a long, thin tube with a tiny camera that lets the surgeon sees inside the abdomen. Other delicate instruments are used to remove part of the colon and lymph nodes.

Because the incisions are smaller, patients often recover faster and may leave the hospital sooner.

If the colon is blocked

If cancer blocks the colon, a stent may be placed before surgery. A stent is a hollow expandable metal tube put inside the colon through a colonoscopy’s small opening. This tube helps to keep the colon open and treats the blockage. If a stent can’t be placed, then colostomy, the ileostomy is considered.

Diversity Colostomy

It is the surgery if the colon cancer has spread that blocks the colon. Surgery is done to treat the blockage without removing the cancerous portion. The colon above the tumor is cut and attached to a stoma to allow the stool to pass through. This is referred to as diverting colostomy.

Depending upon the cancer stage, this helps the patient to live longer or sometimes cure cancer.