My open surgery left me with a 33 cm incision and 47 staples. Oh, and I lost my belly button because the incision went right through it, rendering any 'button' unrecognisable.
Joining colon and rectum is as easy as 1, 2, 3
1. Put anvil in colon, make a J pouch out of healthy colon and then poke the anvil out.
2. Poke the shaft of the stapler through the rectum (entering the rectum via the anus) and attach to anvil.
3. Start stapling. A knife in the stapler cuts away excess tissue and staples at the same time so you are left with an open and clean tunnel.
|My J pouch (for holding poo) and colo-anal connection|
Once the anvil and shaft are pulled out (via the same way it went in: the bot bot) the new join is tested for leaks. This is done in the same way you test a bicycle tyre for leaks - water and air. The area outside the join is filled with fluid and gas is pumped into the colo-rectum. Bubbles coming out of the colon mean a small hole is present.
The join is also tested by injecting dye inside the colon (again via the bot bot) and watching for leaks outside the colon.
Unlike the 47 staples used to close my abdomen, the staples inside my colon will stay there for the rest of my life. I can't wait for my next x-ray.
|This may or may not be my surgeon|