A colectomy is an operation in which part or all of the large intestine (the colon and the rectum) is removed under general anaesthesia. It is usually performed to treat inflammatory conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, or cancer of the colon. In most cases, the cut ends of the large intestine are rejoined once the diseased section has been removed, but sometimes a colostomy is needed. You will have to stay in hospital for at least a week after the operation, depending on the extent of the surgery.
From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.