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Surgery for rectal cancer

This section is about surgery for cancer that starts in the back passage (rectal cancer). The type of surgery you have depends on the position and the size of the cancer in the rectum.  

Types of surgery for rectal cancer

The type of surgery you have for cancer of the back passage (rectum) depends on the position and the size of your cancer.  

Having a colostomy

A colostomy is an operation to create an opening (stoma) of the large bowel (colon) onto the surface of the tummy (abdomen).

Preparing for surgery

You have an appointment at the pre assessment clinic 1 or 2 weeks before your operation. Find out what happens and the tests you might have.

Going into hospital

You’ll probably go into hospital on the day of your operation or the day before. 

On the day

On the day of your operation your surgeon or nurse will explain about having an anaesthetic.

After surgery for rectal cancer

How you feel after your operation depends on what type of surgery you have. 

Problems after surgery

There is a risk of problems or complications after any operation. Many problems are minor but some can be life threatening. 

Surgery for advanced cancer

You might have surgery if advanced bowel cancer blocks your bowel and causes symptoms.  And sometimes you can have surgery to remove cancer that has spread to your liver or lungs. 

Last reviewed: 
16 Oct 2018
Json LD: 
Coronavirus and cancer

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