A hemi colectomy refers to the removal of colon from the body. A right hemi colectomy describes the procedure to remove the right side of the colon from the body. The colon also known as the large intestine is the lowest part of the digestive system. The colon leads to rectus and anus through which feces are eliminated from the body. The colon has three sides named as ascending colon (right side), transverse side and descending colon (left side). Removal of ascending side of the colon is termed as right hemi colectomy. Hemi colectomy is usually performed in cancer affected colon or in cases of Crohn’s disease. Hemi colectomy surgeries are carried out in open or Laparoscopic procedure. Choosing the right method of surgery depends on many factors and has to be discussed with the doctor to finalize which method of surgery suits the patients overall health condition.

In right hemi colectomy surgery ,the right side of the colon and the last portion of the small intestine is removed by taking away the blood vessels and the lymph’s nodes from the area. Then a joint is made between the remaining part of the colon and the small intestine using staples or sutures. This technique is named as anastomosis. The surgery lasts for around 2 hours.

In some cases, when it is unable to join together the remaining part of the colon and intestine then the last part of the bowel is brought to the exterior to form an opening. This is termed as stoma. The stoma can be temporary or permanent and the feces are collected through the new passage to the pouch attached.

In open right hemi colectomy, a large incision is made in the abdomen and the Surgeon removes the cecum, ascending colon that is the right side of the colon and a portion of ileum along with the lymph nodes associated in the area. In laparoscopic right hemi colectomy smaller incision are made in the abdomen. A laparoscope (a devise with a long tube and a camera attached to the end of the tube) is inserted through the incision to view the internal cavity of the abdomen. Then hemicolectomy surgical tools are inserted through other incision and the colon is removed. Nowadays laparoscopic treatments are gaining popularity because of the several benefits of this technique. They are:

  • Smaller wounds
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Less pain
  • Earlier return to normal activity
  • Quicker recovery of pulmonary function
  • Lower incidence of complications

After the surgery, patients are taken to post operative care unit and provided with a drip, a catheter to collect the urine and meditations to relieve the pain. On the following days liquid food are provided and the doctor monitor for any kind of discomfort during bowel movement and then followed by solid foods. Patients are also advised to take proper care to avoid any bleeding, Infection, leaks or any injury to the abdomen area. It will take few days to get into normal body functioning.