What does the ostomy term proctectomy mean?

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What does proctectomy mean?

A term you might hear in relation to stoma forming surgery is proctectomy, this is when the surgeon removes your rectum and anus.

Reasons for needing proctectomy surgery

    • You’re diagnosed with a rectal cancer that is too low down for the surgeon to be able to resect it, take it away and then join the bowel up. This would mean you have a permanent stoma.
    • People with Ulcerative Colitis would have the first stage of their surgery, they would have their colon removed and an ileostomy formed. The surgeon would leave the rectum, anus and a small part of the large bowel in tact. The idea being that there might be an option for another type of surgery to reverse the stoma further down the line. There is a decision that has to be made on when the rectum is removed, this operation is called a completion proctectomy. This is when you would come back into hospital at a later date, it could be a couple of years later or it could be sooner than that if you are having excess bleeding coming from the rectum and it’s hard to manage. The thing to remember about this surgery is that generally it’s done as a second stage, you go into hospital well and it’s a planned operation. Yes, it’s not something that you would want to have done but there is a rule of thumb that within 10 years of your diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis you would need to have your rectum removed because there is a greater risk of cell changes and it needs to be investigated.

You will have a wound at your back passage and also a wound on your abdomen to facilitate the removal of the last part of your bowel. You will recover much quicker than you did from your initial surgery.

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