Los Angeles Colon Cancer Surgery
Colorectal cancer affects the regions of the gastrointestinal tract known as the rectum and the colon. The tumours develop from fleshy growths known as polyps, and this is a long, slow process. Screening processes can be carried out in order to identify these polyps long before they have become cancerous, so if you are at a high risk of developing colorectal cancer, then it is highly advisable that you undergo the screening process, which will usually be a colonoscopy.

Colonoscopy Procedure – A Little Pain Today Saves You From Much Pain Tomorrow
A colonoscopy involves the insertion of a narrow, flexible tube into the colon through the anus. The camera located at the end of this tube enables a display to be shown on a screen, which the doctor will use to identify any polyps or tumours that may be present within this region. The advantage of a colonoscopy over any other form of screening process is that the removal of tumours and polyps can be carried out immediately, rather than needing to have a second procedure performed. If the growths are small enough, they can be removed using a snare. A snare is a thin loop of wire that can be slipped over the growth and tightened. This slices through, removing the growth from the lining of the colon and cauterising it to prevent bleeding.

Necessary Surgery For Colon and Rectal Cancer
However, if the growth is too large for a snare to be used, then a different type of surgery will be required. An extensive tumour will require a section of the bowel (large intestine or colon, as they are also called) to be removed. This will involve a cut being made in the abdomen, near to the location of the tumour. This procedure is called a colectomy, though a more specific name can be given once the region affected has been identified. The lymph glands nearest to the tumour will also be removed, as a precaution, in case the tumour has begun to spread. The lymph glands will be the first location affected, if this is the case.

Once the affected section of the bowel has been removed, the remaining ends will be rejoined to complete the gastrointestinal tract again. This may sometimes take a while to heal, so you might need to have a temporary colostomy, which will later be repaired. This does involve the use of a colostomy bag to collect waste material. If a very large section of the bowel is removed, then it is possible that you may need a permanent colostomy; however, this will be avoided if at all possible. A permanent colostomy is most likely to be needed when the entire colon is removed, in order to treat an extensive case of colorectal cancer.

If the tumour is located in the rectum, then the tumour and a border of unaffected cells around it will be removed surgically. Fatty tissue around the bowel will also be removed, along with some tissue known as the mesentery. The mesentery contains the blood vessels and lymph nodes that supply the rectum, so if the cancer has begun to spread, this is the first region that will be affected. This procedure is performed because it reduces the risk of recurrence considerably. Removal of the entire mesentery is known as total mesenteric excision (TME).

Contact Your Colorectal Surgical Specialist If You Require More Information
Your local colorectal surgeon will provide you with sufficient information to make an informed decision about the future of your treatment. Although there are many possible treatments for each condition, the first step has to be booking the initial appointment, which will put you on the path to eliminating your symptoms, hopefully for good.

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