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Is this Surgery Right for Me?

Every person is unique. That's why no two individuals will respond exactly the same to a specific medication, and not everyone is a candidate for a particular surgery.

For some people with disease of the lower rectum, an "anal sparing" operation may offer an alternative to a permanent colostomy.

During colorectal or coloanal anastomosis surgery, the surgeon removes all or part of the diseased rectum. However, the anal muscles are left intact so that elimination remains relatively the same.

This article will talk about the reasons for colorectal or coloanal anastomosis surgery, what you may expect, and the benefits and risks of this operation.

Be sure to explore your options with your physician.

What are the reasons for colorectal or coloanal anastomosis surgery?
Reasons for this surgery as well as some reasons not to have the surgery (contraindications) are summarized in the table below.

Reasons for Surgery   Contraindications

Removal of giant polyps

Rectal prolapse

Reconstruction for people who have illnesses such as diverticulitis or Crohn's colitis and who have had a colostomy

  If cancer is present in the anal muscle

Damaged anal muscles in which the patient has no bowel control, (i.e., injuries due to childbirth, old age, or a combination of both)

What are the potential risks for patients undergoing colorectal or coloanal anastomosis surgery?
For people who are otherwise healthy, infections are considered the most common potential risks. They may include:

  • wound infections
  • urinary tract infections
  • pneumonia, and
  • intra-abdominal infections if the area of surgery doesn't heal properly.

What are the benefits of this surgery?
The absence of a permanent ostomy eliminates the concern of many people about their body image. Satisfaction with this procedure has been high.

Life after colorectal or coloanal anastomosis surgery is different. It will take time, patience, and trial and error to adjust to this lifestyle change. See "Life After Colorectal or Coloanal Anastomosis Surgery" for tips on managing your pouch, follow-up screenings, and more.

If you would like, your surgeon can arrange for you to meet someone else who has had colorectal or coloanal anastomosis surgery. Often patients who have had this surgery offer to speak to other patients about their experiences.

Knowledge Is Power
Your surgeon, her nurse and assistants are always happy to answer any questions you or your family may have about colorectal or coloanal anastomosis surgery and the recovery process. Together, you and your doctor can determine whether this operation is right for you.

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