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A total proctolectomy is a type of surgery for colorectal cancer in which the entire large intestine and rectum are removed. This procedure is typically followed by an ileostomy, in which a surgeon creates a small opening in the lower abdomen and connects the remaining end of the small intestine to an external stoma bag. This bag allows stool to be collected outside the body, as a total proctolectomy typically means that regular digestion will no longer be possible.

Usually, a total proctolectomy and ileostomy take between four and seven hours to complete. Patients often spend several days in a hospital before continuing to recover at home, although recovery times may be shorter if a surgeon uses a minimally invasive technique. When this is the case, the surgeon accesses the intestine through a series of small incisions in the lower stomach. To complete the operation, the surgeon uses a set of small surgical instruments, as well as a laparoscope (a miniature camera attached to the end of a lighted tube).

Traditional and minimally invasive proctolectomies are just two of the advanced surgical options we offer at Moffitt Cancer Center. Our patients benefit from:

  • Fully individualized treatment plans
  • Highly experienced surgical oncologists who exclusively treat cancers of the large and small intestines
  • Supportive care services, including nutritional counseling and postoperative assistance with stoma care

To schedule an appointment with one of the experienced surgeons at Moffitt Cancer Center, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online. You do not need a referral to learn more about your surgical options, including the total proctolectomy.