The most common reason for bowel resection is bowel cancer. At other times bowel can need to removed during emergencies such as for trauma, twisted bowel, bleeding, perforation, lack of blood supply or obstruction. In addition to bowel cancer, planned bowel resections are sometimes recommended for diverticular disease and inflammatory bowel disease.
Large bowel resection for bowel cancer (colorectal cancer)
Bowel cancer is very common in Australia. One in thirteen Australians will be diagnosed with bowel cancer at some stage during their life.
Patients may experience abdominal pain, fatigue, a change in their bowel habit, bleeding or dark black faeces or abdominal bloating. Bowel cancers can also be present in patients with no symptoms and be detected on screening tests such as colonoscopy. The good news is when diagnosed and treated early many people can be cured with surgery alone.
Surgery involves removal of the diseased part of the bowel and joining the two ends back together again. Surgery can be performed keyhole or open depending on patient and tumour factors.
For tumours close to the rectum a bowel bag or stoma may be required. Most often this is temporary though sometimes can be permanent. Rectal cancer is often treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy prior to surgery. The treatment of rectal cancer is a highly specialised area and Dr Adams will refer patients of hers diagnosed with this condition to a colorectal surgeon.