Banner image

Colon and rectal surgery

Digestive issues can make life difficult and uncomfortable. Our expert colorectal surgeons will guide your care with compassionate support from your consultation to colon and rectal surgery and through your recovery. Our goal is to help you get back to what matters most as quickly as possible while prioritizing your safety. 

Find a colon and rectal surgeon near you to schedule a consultation.

Learn more

Surgical treatment for colon and rectal conditions

Choose Allina Health’s colon and rectal (colorectal) experts. We already know your unique health needs and will be there for you every step of the way. We’ll keep you comfortable and make an easy-to-understand recovery plan made for you. 

Your colorectal surgery team

Your multidisciplinary health care team supports and guides your care before, during and after colon and rectal surgery. They will keep you informed about your surgery, hospital stay, and recovery time and give you an easy-to-understand recovery plan.

Your colorectal surgery team may include:

  • A surgeon. Your colon and rectal surgeon treats colon and rectum issues with surgery. If you have colorectal cancer, an Allina Health Cancer Institute surgeon will perform the procedure, including colon surgery for cancer.
  • A nursing navigator. A nursing navigator coordinates your daily activities, accompanies you during clinic visits and answers your questions during treatment. He or she also supports your personal care, helps with pain management, discharge planning and appointments.
  • An anesthesiologist. Anesthesiologists specialize in anesthesia and pain management. During your colon and rectal surgery, he or she will give you the type of anesthesia that is right for you and monitor your blood pressure, heart rate and breathing rate.
  • A pharmacist. Our specialty pharmacy will supply the medicines ordered by your health care provider. He or she will make sure your medicines work well and are safe.
  • A dietitian. You may need to avoid certain foods after colon and rectal surgery. A dietitian will guide and support your nutritional needs in partnership with your health care team. 

Types of colon and rectal procedures

Type of colorectal surgeries and procedures at Allina Health include:

  • Hemorrhoidectomy. The removal of dilated veins inside or outside the rectal area.
  • Anal fissure treatment. Repairing a crack-like sore on the anus.
  • Pilonidal cystectomy. This is the removal of a nest-like hair cyst.
  • Proctoplasty. A type of surgery to repair the rectum.
  • Sphincterotomy. This procedure repairs or widens the rectal opening.
  • Rectal prolapse. If your rectum stretches and falls out of place, you may need rectal prolapse surgery. 
  • Proctectomy and colectomy. The surgeries remove all or part of the rectum or colon. Some people with rectal cancer will need a proctectomy. The surgery can also treat inflammation in your digestive tract (inflammatory bowel disease).
  • Removal of anal warts. These are warts on the anus, the opening to the rectum.

Colon and rectal surgery can also treat colorectal cancer, precancerous growths (polyps) and hemorrhoids. Your surgeon may recommend laparoscopic surgery or robotic surgery as a minimally invasive alternative to traditional surgery. Allina Health is a regional leader in robotic surgery.

Before colon and rectal surgery

Tell your health care provider if you:

  • are pregnant
  • have a latex allergy
  • have diabetes
  • take blood-thinner medicine.

  Remove any jewelry or piercings before colorectal surgery.

After colon and rectal surgery

Most people stay in the hospital for three to four days after colorectal surgery. Please see your After Visit Summary for taking care of yourself after colorectal surgery. Keep all follow-up appointments with your health care provider or specialist, even if you feel well.

  • You may feel exhausted for about one month after colorectal surgery.
  • A small amount of clear drainage at the incision site after surgery is normal. Tell your care team if the drainage does not stop. This is normal and usually a clear or a pink-tinged color.
  • Keep your bandage clean and dry.
  • If you have an incision between your buttocks (in your rectum), you may see a pink watery discharge.
  • Wear sanitary napkins or adult incontinence pads to protect your clothes and bed linens from drainage.

Your health care providers will work with you and your loved ones to help create a colorectal surgery recovery plan. We’ll answer any questions you may have.

When to contact your health care provider

Contact your health care provider if you:

  • have new rectum pain or pain you can’t control
  • have a temperature higher than 101 F
  • feel dizzy or lightheaded that won’t stop
  • are unable to urinate or have problems while urinating
  • have signs of infection at your incision site, such as pain, swelling, redness, odor, warmth or a green or yellow discharge
  • are unable to get out of bed
  • have nausea (upset stomach) and vomiting (throwing up) that won’t stop
  • severe constipation
  • severe diarrhea
  • any questions or concerns.

Learn more about what to expect before, during and after rectal surgery.

Insurance coverage and costs

Contact your health insurance provider about medical coverage and get a price estimate before scheduling colon and rectal surgery. You will pay any deductible amounts and charges your policy doesn’t cover. 

Reviewed by: Samy Maklad, MD

First published: 3/25/2022
Last reviewed: 3/25/2022