Medical Treatment and Autism: Tips For Success

What To Expect After Colorectal Surgery To Treat Cancer

Cancer of the colon or rectum is very serious and needs to be treated as quickly as possible. When tumors are present, the first step in treatment protocol is colorectal surgery, which may be followed by radiation or chemotherapy depending on the severity of the cancer. If you have colon or rectal cancer and need to have colorectal surgery, it is natural to feel stressed or scared. However, knowing what yo expect from your recovery can make facing surgery a bit easier. Continue reading to learn more about recovering from colorectal surgery.


After undergoing colorectal surgery, your bowels will not immediately be functioning properly. It can take some time for your bowels to "wake up", so you will need to adjust your diet appropriately. In most cases, patients who have undergone colorectal surgery will need to start out with a mostly liquid diet. A liquid diet is usually recommended until you have successfully passed gas. When you begin eating solids again, you will need to consume soft, low-fiber foods that will not irritate the stomach or bowels. As you progress through your recovery, you may discover that foods that you used to eat without problems cause digestive issues, so it can be helpful to keep a food diary so you can note which foods no longer work for you.

Bowel Movements

Due to advances in surgical methods, most people who have colorectal surgery to treat cancer do not need a colostomy bag after surgery. However, it is important to note that bowel movements and bowel movement frequency can change after colorectal surgery. A lot of patients report that they have more frequent bowel movements, but nothing too excessive. If you are able to avoid a colostomy bag, you may need to work with a professional to relearn bowel control and recognize new sensations that indicate that you need to use the restroom. While this information may seem overwhelming, many people prefer dealing with changes in bowel movements over living with a colostomy bag.


After colorectal surgery, it is recommended that a patient begin walking as soon as possible. Doing so promotes recovery after surgery and can lead to a shorter recovery period. You will need to avoid exercise, especially weight lifting that can strain the abdominal muscles, until after you are cleared by your doctor. It is in your best interest to limit your activity to walking for several weeks until your body has healed from colorectal surgery. 

For more information, reach out to companies like Surgery Group SC.