Indications for a Laparoscopic Colectomy

The indications of a laparoscopic colectomy are the same as those in an open surgery: Ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome and others.

The most common disease of the intestine, in the Western societies that has started being treated laparoscopically in most cases, is that of diverticulitis.

What is Diverticular Disease of Intestine?

Diverticula are small, bulging pouches that can form in the lining of your digestive system. They are found most often in the lower part of the large intestine (colon). Diverticula are common, especially after age 40, and seldom cause problems. Sometimes, however, one or more of the pouches become inflamed or infected. That condition is known as diverticulitis. Diverticulitis can cause severe abdominal pain, fever, nausea and a marked change in your bowel habits. Mild diverticulitis can be treated with rest, changes in your diet and antibiotics. Severe or recurring diverticulitis requires surgery.

When does it appear?

Diverticulosis appears mostly (over 50%) to people over age 60, because it takes time for the diverticulas to enlarge. Nowdays, we see younger people to have issues with this disease of the intestine. That can be caused by consuming foods that are low in fibers in the Western societies, or due to the fact that we have the technology to find out when someone has a tendency to suffer from diverticulitis.

When should you have a surgery if you suffer from Diverticulosis?

   Serious complications can occur as a result of diverticulitis. Most of them are the result of the development of a tear or perforation of the intestinal wall. If this occurs, intestinal waste material can leak out of the intestinesand into the surrounding abdominal cavity causing the following problems: Peritonitis (a painful infection of the abdominal cavity), Abscesses (“walled off” infections in the abdomen) and Obstruction (blockages of the intestine).

Sometimes surgery is needed to clean the abscess and remove part of the colon. If the infection spreads into the abdominal cavity (peritonitis), surgery is needed to clean the cavity and remove the damaged part of the colon. Without proper treatment, peritonitis can be fatal.

Infection can lead to scarring of the colon, and the scar tissue may cause a partial or complete blockage. A partial blockage does not require emergency surgery. However, surgery is required with complete blockage.

Another complication of diverticulitis is the formation of a fistula. A fistula is an abnormal connection between two organs, or between an organ and the skin. A common type of fistula is between the bladder and colon. This requires surgery to remove the fistula and affected part of the colon and create a colostomy.


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