Surgery is one of the most common corrective actions you can take for colon cancer. New technology and updated procedures continue to make the process safer for patients. A specific specialized form of the surgery is done by Virtua surgeons, who use robotic and minimally invasive techniques to do the surgery. In turn, those techniques can help recovery go faster and hurt less.
Colon cancer can grow and spread from any part of the rectum or colon. Therefore, during a surgical procedure, the team can easily remove any part of the colon or rectum with considerable ease. The surgery goal is to remove the cancer with enough margins to ensure the colon can be reconnected without having to install a colostomy bag. Every patient has a unique body; therefore, the surgery is tailored to the individual’s specific anatomy.
Colon surgery patients do require a short stay in the hospital around the time of their surgery. The amount of time you spend in the hospital post-operation depends mostly on how well your body recovers from the procedure. During your stay, your surgical care team will typically follow the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) protocols to promote a quick recovery and lower the risk of complications. The ERAS protocol includes:
- Avoiding the usage of narcotics for pain management
- Encouraging mobility as soon as you can leave your bed and move around
- Providing the best and healthiest nutrition to better aid your body.
After you return home, aim to assume your usual activity. The most important rule of thumb is to listen to your body. As soon as your able to try to continue walking up and down stairs, taking showers and going for walks. If it hurts, stop the activity, and if pain persists at an unmanageable level, contact your healthcare professional. Remember to listen to your surgeon, your care team, and, most importantly, your own body.