Right Hemicolectomy

What is right hemicolectomy?

Right hemicolectomy is a surgery performed to remove the right side of the colon.

Where is your colon?

The colon or large intestine is present in the abdominal cavity and is made up of three sections – the ascending colon (present on the right side), the transverse colon and the descending colon (present on the left side). The large intestine is the last part of the intestine, where the remains of the digested food or waste, pass to form stools that get excreted.

What are the indications for right hemicolectomy?

Right hemicolectomy is performed to treat conditions such as colon cancer and Crohn's disease (inflammation of the digestive tract).

What are the alternatives to right hemicolectomy?

The alternative to right hemicolectomy is a procedure to bypass the affected area by joining one part of the bowel to another, without removing the stricture or growth in the bowel.

How do I prepare for right hemicolectomy?

Before the procedure, it is important to prepare the bowel. You will be given only clear liquids for 24 hours, and enema administered before the operation to clear your bowels.

How is right hemicolectomy performed?

Right hemicolectomy can be performed as either a laparoscopic or open surgery, under general anaesthesia. To access the bowel, your surgeon may make a large incision in the case of open surgery or several small incisions on the abdomen for laparoscopic surgery. The right side of your colon and the last section of the small intestine is excised along with the attached blood vessels and lymph nodes. The remaining part of the colon and small intestine are then re-joined with the help of sutures or staples.

What can I expect after right hemicolectomy?

Following right hemicolectomy, you will be given pain medication to keep you comfortable. You are allowed to eat, and encouraged to move around and walk as soon as you are able. You will be discharged 2-5 days after laparoscopic right hemicolectomy and 5-7 days after open surgery.

Describe the stages of recovery and care plan.

At home, you are encouraged to continue with your walks, but avoid extensive physical activities and lifting heavy objects for about 6 weeks. You will be able to resume driving after about 2 weeks.

How long will I be off work?

You will be able to resume work after 7–10 days if keyhole surgery is possible. If not, you will require 3–4 weeks off work.

What are the benefits of right hemicolectomy?

Right hemicolectomy removes the diseased growth or narrowing to relieve symptoms. Additional advantages of the laparoscopic approach include:

  • Small surgical incisions
  • Less scaring
  • Less post-operative pain
  • Shorter hospital stay and faster recovery

What are the potential complications of right hemicolectomy?

Like all surgeries, right hemicolectomy may be associated with complications such as bleeding and infection, leakage of bowel contents at the joint, vomiting, abdominal distension and delay in the working of the bowel.

What is the cost of the procedure?

We will provide you with a full explanation of the costs of the operation to assist you in your decision to proceed. The costs will vary depending on your level of private health insurance.

What are the current research regarding laparoscopic bile duct surgery?

Ongoing research on right hemicolectomy include:

  1. Parisi A, Scrucca L, Desiderio J, et al. Robotic right hemicolectomy: Analysis of 108 consecutive procedures and multidimensional assessment of the learning curve. Surg Oncol. 2017 Mar;26(1):28-36.


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