If you have been diagnosed with colon cancer via a series of colonoscopies, you may be wondering what the next step is. Consulting with a cancer treatment center, such as Kinston Medical Specialists PA is ideal, since you may be able to avoid radiation and chemotherapy. As long as the cancer has not spread to any other part of the body, doctors may suggest a simple resection of your bowel. Here is what you can expect if you decide to go through with the bowel resection to treat your colon cancer.
Clearing out the Colon Prior to Surgery
Since your surgeon wants to avoid leakage of bowel contents into your abdominal cavity, he or she will want you to clear your colon entirely several hours prior to surgery. That usually means that you cannot have anything to eat several hours before you are scheduled to go under the knife. It also means that the doctor/surgeon may prescribe a special colon cleanse product that you will have to pick up from a nearby pharmacy and consume in its entirety prior to your procedure. The only thing you are typically allowed to consume during this time is water, since water in itself cannot cause an infection if there is an accidental leakage of the bowel into your abdominal cavity.
Removing the Diseased Part of Your Colon
After you have been sedated, your abdomen is prepared for surgery and the surgeon begins his/her work. The diseased section of the colon is clamped off (both above and below the diseased section) from the healthy parts of your colon. This stops blood flow to the diseased section and prevents any cancer cells from entering the blood stream while your surgeon removes this part of your colon. The diseased part is cut free and taken out of your abdomen. Then the two ends of your healthy colon are unclamped and sewn together. The surgeon makes sure there are no leaks through the stitched ends of healthy colon before sewing your abdomen closed.
Eating after Surgery and Follow-up Appointments
Until the ends of your colon have healed sufficiently, your doctor may prescribe a liquid and/or soft mechanical diet. This means that you can only eat pureed or semi-solid foods for several days so that your food does not rip the stitches in your colon. You will need a follow-up visit with your oncologist as well as your general practitioner so that your stitches are clean and healing continues without infection. Your oncologist will also want to do some follow-up bloodwork periodically to make sure the cancer is not present in the rest of your body.
I am one of those people who hates going to the doctor. In the past, I have relied on everything from cranberry juice to apple cider vinegar to fix my ails. As I get older though, I find that I need to rely more on traditional medicine than I did in the past. What I found out from my doctor is that I did not have to give up the holistic medicines I used. I could combine them. This blog is designed to help others focus on how to combing holistic treatments with traditional medicine in a safe and fun way.