13 doctors weighed in:
I need surgery for colon cancer. Will I need to wear a bag (colostomy) forever?
13 doctors weighed in

Dr. Donald Kim
Surgery - Colorectal
6 doctors agree
In brief: Depends
Your surgery depends on the location of the cancer.
If the tumor is low in the rectum or involves the anal sphincters you may need the area removed resulting in a permanent colostomy (bag). There are options that can decrease the likelihood of a colostomy in this case. This certainly depends on what you have. Ask your doctor. A colon and rectal surgeon specializes in this surgery.

In brief: Depends
Your surgery depends on the location of the cancer.
If the tumor is low in the rectum or involves the anal sphincters you may need the area removed resulting in a permanent colostomy (bag). There are options that can decrease the likelihood of a colostomy in this case. This certainly depends on what you have. Ask your doctor. A colon and rectal surgeon specializes in this surgery.
Dr. Donald Kim
Dr. Donald Kim
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Dr. Barry Rosen
Surgery
4 doctors agree
In brief: Possibly
A permanent colostomy is necessary when a rectal cancer is too close to the anus to be completely removed without affecting the anal sphincter. Occasionally, a temporary colostomy is performed for emergency colon cancer operations (due to obstruction or perforation) or when there is concern about the intestine healing after surgery; these can be "reversed" after a few months.

In brief: Possibly
A permanent colostomy is necessary when a rectal cancer is too close to the anus to be completely removed without affecting the anal sphincter. Occasionally, a temporary colostomy is performed for emergency colon cancer operations (due to obstruction or perforation) or when there is concern about the intestine healing after surgery; these can be "reversed" after a few months.
Dr. Barry Rosen
Dr. Barry Rosen
Thank
3 doctors agree
In brief: Probably not
Almost all colon cancer surgery is done with a primary anastomosis putting the remaining ends together at the time of surgery.
Rarely a temporary colostomy is needed if there is obstruction or other extenuating circumstances. Permanent colostomy is usually only needed for cancers of the very distal rectum.

In brief: Probably not
Almost all colon cancer surgery is done with a primary anastomosis putting the remaining ends together at the time of surgery.
Rarely a temporary colostomy is needed if there is obstruction or other extenuating circumstances. Permanent colostomy is usually only needed for cancers of the very distal rectum.
Dr. Michael Sawyer
Dr. Michael Sawyer
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