Bowel Surgery

You might need to have surgery to remove part of your bowel if it’s been affected by disease, such as bowel cancer or diverticular disease. You might also need to have an operation if you have inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. The exact procedure you have will depend on what condition you have and how much of your bowel is affected.

Image showing the large and small bowels
Types of bowel surgery

An operation to remove part of your bowel is called a colectomy. Types of this kind of surgery include:

  • total colectomy – an operation to remove all of your large bowel
  • proctocolectomy – your surgeon will remove your large bowel and back passage (rectum )
  • hemicolectomy – an operation to remove either the left or right side of your large bowel
  • sigmoid colectomy – surgery to remove the part of your bowel that’s closest to your back passage
  • proctectomy – an operation to remove your back passage

Your surgeon will talk with you about the most appropriate procedure for you.

Your care may not be quite as we describe here as it will be designed to meet your individual needs. But you’ll meet the surgeon carrying out your procedure beforehand to discuss what will be involved.

An image showing a right and left hemicolectomy     An image showing a transverse and sigmoid colectomy

Preparing for bowel surgery
What happens during bowel surgery?
What to expect afterwards
Recovering from bowel surgery
What are the side-effects of bowel surgery?
What are the complications of bowel surgery?