It is important to discuss your surgical options with your surgeon and medical team, along with details about surgery preparation and recovery. Some of your surgical options will depend on the extent to which the cancer has spread in your body. Deciding on minimally invasive surgery or open surgery usually will not change the size of the colon or rectum area that the surgeon needs to remove.
Preparation for surgery is similar to the preparation before colonoscopy because the colon must be clean and empty.
Patients should consult with their medical team regarding their regular medications. Blood thinning medications should be stopped before surgery because they can increase bleeding during the procedure. Aspirin and aspirin-containing products should be avoided two weeks before surgery. Similarly, all non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (such as Advil, Motrin, Nuprin, etc.) should be avoided.
It is normal to feel anxious before surgery. Every person experiences anxiety differently. Some of the more common symptoms include a pounding heart, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, nausea, and sleep problems. People also cope with their anxiety in different ways. Most hospitals have dedicated staff members such as counselors, social workers, and volunteers that may offer support.
Smoking not only increases your risk for being diagnosed with cancer and other chronic diseases, it also may complicate and slow down your recovery. It is best to stop smoking or use nicotine alternatives as soon as you arrange for your surgery.