Course Content
Introduction to Colorectal Cancer
Learn about the causes, symptoms, risk factors, prevention, treatment, and management of colorectal cancer. By the end of this course, you will have a better understanding of colorectal cancer and how to prevent, detect, and manage it.
Not Just A Gut Feeling: Understanding Colorectal Cancer
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What are the possible complications of Colorectal Cancer surgery?

Following colorectal cancer surgery, there are potential complications that patients may experience, as well as specific postoperative care measures to ensure optimal recovery.

Here are some common complications and postoperative care considerations:

Infection. Surgical site infections or infections in the urinary or respiratory tract can occur. Antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent or treat infections.

Bleeding. Occasionally, postoperative bleeding may occur. It can range from minor bleeding to more significant bleeding requiring intervention.

Anastomotic Leak. In surgeries involving an anastomosis (joining of colon or rectum), a leak may develop, allowing stool to escape into the abdominal cavity. This requires prompt treatment.

Bowel Obstruction. Scarring or adhesions from surgery can cause a blockage in the intestines, leading to symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, and constipation.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE). Blood clots in the legs (DVT) can potentially travel to the lungs (PE). Preventive measures, such as blood thinners and early mobilization, are implemented to minimize this risk.

What are some post-operative care measures to ensure optimal recovery?

Pain Management. Adequate pain control is crucial for patient comfort and early mobilization. Pain medications may be prescribed, and a pain management plan will be implemented.

Wound Care. Incisions should be kept clean and dry to prevent infection. Follow the surgeon’s instructions regarding wound care, including dressing changes and showering restrictions.

Diet and Nutrition. Initially, a liquid or soft diet may be recommended, gradually progressing to a regular diet. Proper nutrition and hydration are essential for healing.

Early Mobilization. Getting out of bed and walking as soon as possible after surgery helps prevent complications such as blood clots and assists in bowel function recovery.

Stoma Care (if applicable). If a temporary or permanent stoma is created, stoma care instructions will be provided. This includes proper cleaning, application of a pouch, and managing any associated skin irritation.

Bowel Function and Bowel Movements. It may take some time for bowel function to normalize after surgery. Patients may experience changes in bowel movements, such as frequency or consistency. It’s important to communicate any concerns with the healthcare team.

Follow-up Appointments. Regular follow-up appointments with the surgical team are essential to monitor progress, address any concerns, and discuss further treatment options or adjuvant therapies if required.

It’s crucial for patients to closely adhere to their healthcare provider’s instructions regarding postoperative care, medication usage, and follow-up appointments. Promptly reporting any worrisome symptoms or complications to the healthcare team ensures timely intervention and optimal recovery.