Colorectal cancer is a serious disease that affects thousands of individuals in Singapore each year. For those diagnosed with this condition, seeking help from colorectal surgeon in Singapore becomes a critical treatment option. Getting to know what colorectal surgery entails, who should consider getting tested for colorectal cancer, and the benefits of this life-saving procedure is highly imperative. This article will explore the salient details of the colorectal surgery procedure, from the importance of early detection to the advancements in techniques and technologies. By empowering individuals with knowledge about colorectal surgery and colorectal cancer, we hope to shed light on this life-saving procedure.
Role of colorectal surgery in treating colorectal cancer
Colorectal surgery is a medical procedure that involves the removal of all or part of the colon and rectum. It is typically performed as a treatment option for colorectal cancer, a malignant growth in the colon or rectum. By removing the affected area, this type of surgery aims to eliminate the cancerous cells and prevent the spread of the disease.
The decision to undergo surgery is made by a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, including surgeons, oncologists, and pathologists. They assess the stage of the cancer, the patient’s overall health, and other factors to determine the most appropriate treatment plan.
Early detection and screening for colorectal cancer
Early detection plays a huge role in the successful treatment of colorectal cancer. Regular screening tests can detect the presence of precancerous polyps or early-stage cancer, allowing for timely intervention and increasing the chances of a positive outcome. It is recommended that individuals at average risk for colorectal cancer begin routine screening at the age of 50.
Screening for colorectal cancer is recommended for individuals who are at average risk and those with certain risk factors. Age is one of the primary risk factors, with the risk increasing significantly after the age of 50. Other factors that may increase the risk of colorectal cancer include a family history of the disease, a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, and certain genetic conditions.
It is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate timing and frequency of screening tests based on individual risk factors. Early detection through screening can lead to early intervention, potentially saving lives.
Common screening tests for colorectal cancer
Several screening tests are available to detect colorectal cancer or precancerous polyps. The choice of test depends on various factors, including the individual’s age, medical history, and preferences. Some common screening tests for colorectal cancer include:
- Colonoscopy: This is considered the gold standard for colorectal cancer screening. During a colonoscopy, a flexible tube with a camera is inserted into the rectum and colon to examine the lining for abnormalities or polyps. If any polyps are found, they can be removed during the procedure.
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy: Similar to a colonoscopy, a flexible sigmoidoscopy involves the insertion of a tube with a camera into the rectum and lower colon. It allows for the visualization of the lower portion of the colon.
- Stool tests: These non-invasive tests check for the presence of blood or abnormal DNA in the stool. These include fecal occult blood tests and stool DNA tests.
- Virtual colonoscopy: Also known as CT colonography, this test uses X-rays and computer technology to create detailed images of the colon and rectum. It is a less invasive alternative to traditional colonoscopy.
What happens during a colorectal surgery procedure
A colorectal surgery is a major surgical procedure that requires careful planning and execution. Before the surgery, the patient will undergo a thorough evaluation, including blood tests, imaging scans, and consultations with the surgical team. The patient will also receive instructions on how to prepare for the surgery, which may involve dietary restrictions and bowel preparation.
During the surgery, the patient will be under general anesthesia to ensure their comfort and safety. The surgeon will make an incision in the abdomen to access the colon and rectum. The affected portion of the colon or rectum will be carefully removed, and the remaining healthy portions will be reconnected. In some cases, a temporary or permanent colostomy or ileostomy may be necessary to redirect waste out of the body.
The length of the surgery and the recovery time usually differs based on the gravity of the procedure and the individual’s overall health. This is why patients should discuss the details of the surgery with their healthcare team and address any concerns or questions they may have.
Benefits and potential risks of undergoing colorectal surgery
Undergoing colorectal surgery offers several potential benefits for individuals with colorectal cancer. The primary benefit is the removal of the cancerous cells, reducing the risk of the disease spreading to other parts of the body. This procedure also provides an opportunity for pathology examination of the removed tissue, which can help determine the stage and aggressiveness of the cancer.
However, like any surgical procedure, colorectal surgery carries certain risks. These risks may include infection, bleeding, damage to nearby organs, and complications related to anesthesia. Patients should discuss these risks with their healthcare team and understand the potential benefits and drawbacks of the procedure.
Recovery and follow-up care after surgery
The recovery process can vary from person to person. It is common for patients to experience pain, fatigue, and changes in bowel habits during the initial recovery period. The healthcare team will provide instructions on pain management, wound care, and dietary restrictions to promote healing and minimize discomfort.
Regular follow-up visits with the healthcare team are crucial for monitoring the patient’s progress and addressing any concerns or complications that may arise. Depending on the individual’s condition, additional treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy may be recommended to further reduce the risk of cancer recurrence.
Lifestyle changes and support for recovering patients
After the procedure, individuals may need to make certain lifestyle changes to aid in their recovery and maintain their overall health. These changes may include adopting a well-balanced diet rich in fiber, staying physically active, and avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption. Patients will also need to work closely with their healthcare team to develop a personalized plan that meets their specific needs.
Emotional support is also crucial for post-surgery patients. Joining support groups, talking to loved ones, and seeking professional counseling can help individuals cope with the physical and emotional challenges that may arise during the recovery process.
Alpine Surgical Practice
3 Mount Elizabeth #17-16
+65 6589 8927