As people age, there are a number of problems that become more common. Cancer is one such problem. The older a patient is, the more likely he or she is likely to get cancer of some sort. Colon cancer is very common and is often diagnosed in its early stages thanks to colonoscopies. The most common signs of cancer include a change in stool diameter and dark blood in the stool, which is also known as melanotic stool. All patients with cancer benefit from a multidisciplinary treatment team. The team usually consists of surgeons, oncologists, radiologists, and pathologists. If the team feels that the patient is optimized for surgery and does not need any neoadjuvant treatment the surgeon can commence with surgical excision.
Another disease also common in older populations is diverticulitis. The colon is made of several layers of tissue. Parts of this tissue can weaken with age or long standing constipation. Small out pouchings can form which are called diverticula. These diverticula can become blocked, infected, or inflamed. This is referred to as diverticulitis. Patients usually present with pain. Although, it can be associated with nausea, fever, and diarrhea as well. This initial treatment of diverticulitis is with antibiotics. If patients have a recurrence or become septic from diverticulitis they will benefit from removal of the infected part of the colon.
The type of resection will be determined by the site and extent of the disease. Disease located in the right colon is easily usually resected and re-attached to itself. For left sided lesions, this can be a bit more challenging, but usually possible. For severe disease of the sigmoid colon and rectum, a patient may need a temporary colostomy to allow the inflamed area to heal prior to proceeding with rejoining the colon to the rectum. These procedures can be performed laparoscopically or open depending on the anatomy of disease and patient factors. Patients are usually able to leave the hospital in less than a week. However, most patients take several weeks to get back to their usual daily activities.
It is important to find a board-certified surgeon who has the expertise to safely carry out this procedure. Patients in need of a colon resection should contact Dr. Jenna Kazil at the Florida Surgical Clinic located in Bradenton, Manatee County, FL. Dr. Kazil is an insightful surgical specialist who has the expertise to perform a wide variety of procedures because she is double board-certified working as a general surgeon and vascular surgeon. People living on the West coast of Florida from St. Petersburg to Sarasota in need of a well-rounded surgical specialist should contact Florida Surgical Clinic to schedule an appointment.