Colon & Rectal Surgery

Rectal Cancer

Delta Medix Patient General Information


The colon, sometimes referred to as the large intestine, has six sections. It begins after the small intestine ends, and is divided into the cecum, ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, the sigmoid colon, and the rectum. The anus is not part of the colon and is where the colon ends and the stool is evacuated from the body. Removal of one or more sections of the colon may be required due to a disease process, tumor, or mass. In certain operations, after the diseased part of the colon is removed, remaining ends will be sewn together.

A colectomy is the removal of part or section of the large intestine or colon. In a colectomy, the remaining ends of the colon following the removal of the diseased portion may be reattached and sewn together.

A right hemicolectomy refers to the resection of the ascending colon or the right colon.

A left hemicolectomy refers to the resection of the descending colon or left colon.

A sigmoidectomy refers to the resection of the sigmoid colon.

When this surgery is performed for cancer, it is often necessary to remove some of the surrounding lymph nodes in that area. Lymph nodes are small glands that filter bacteria, infections and cancer cells out of the blood stream. After removal, the lymph nodes are examined microscopically to see if any of the cancer has spread.

A bowel prep is necessary to clean out the entire colon, minimize the chance of infection and safely perform the surgery.

The two most common reasons for a colectomy are colon cancer and diverticulitis. (see General Conditions and Disease)