Colectomy is the most common procedure performed to remove colon cancer cells. This is the surgical resection of all or part of the large intestine. It is also called large bowel resection. Colectomy is performed under general anesthesia by open surgery method or by laparoscopic method. The procedure takes about 1 to 4 hours.
In this technique, a single large incision is made in the abdominal wall. The diseased part of the colon is removed and the healthy ends are sutured together. If no healthy large intestine is left or there is a high risk of an intestinal leak, an opening or a small incision called a stoma is created on the abdominal wall. The open end of the large intestine is stitched to the skin of the outer wall of the abdomen. Wastes will pass through this opening into a bag that is attached outside the body. This procedure is called colostomy.