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Open Subtotal Colectomy: Left Colon and Sigmoid Resection with Colostomy Formation

David Berger, MD
Massachusetts General Hospital


An open colectomy is the resection of all or part of the colon after a large incision is made in the abdomen. It is often used to treat colonic diseases such as bowel obstruction, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and colon cancer. The patient in this case was a C6 quadriplegic male who presented with colon cancer near the splenic flexure. A midline incision was performed, and the extent of the tumor was examined. Following mobilization of the colon, the proximal and distal colonic margins were divided, and the left colon and sigmoid were removed. A colostomy was deemed more appropriate than an anastomosis and was placed in the upper left quadrant. Here, we show the decision making process involved in and the techniques used to perform an open subtotal colectomy or left colon and sigmoid resection with subsequent colostomy formation.

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