The colon and rectum, or “large intestine,” is the end part of the gastrointestinal tract where liquid waste is converted into formed stool (solid waste).

Colectomy is the surgical removal of part or all of the colon. The term proctectomy is used for surgical removal of part or all of the rectum. Both types of surgery are often performed with a minimally invasive, laparoscopic approach.

In most cases, individuals who undergo colectomy or proctectomy for cancer or benign disease do NOT require a colostomy. They should expect to lead a normal, productive, and happy life with little or no impact on their activities or diet.

Colon and Rectum (diagram)