What is a Hemicolectomy? One Patient’s Story

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“Dr. Ren Yu Zhang and Dr. Lynn Kowalski are my dream team.” —Jennifer H. jennifer-hunt.jpg

Jennifer needed a lot of care and found all her needs met at NVSCC. Dr. Zhang performed at hemicolectomy while Dr. Kowalski performed a total hysterectomy. The amazing part? They did both procedures together during one operation. Such medical advances would not be possible without robot-assisted surgery tools like the da Vinci and NOTES (Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery) systems.

What is a Colectomy?

The word hemi means half, so a hemicolectomy removes one side of the colon. After one-half of the colon has been removed, the small intestine is attached to the rest of the colon. Colectomies are used to treat and prevent diseases such as:

  • Bowel obstruction – In emergency cases, colectomies are sometimes needed to unblock the colon.
  • Uncontrollable bleeding – Severe bleeding can be remedied by removing the damaged part of the colon.
  • Colon cancer – It depends on the stage and severity of cancer to determine how much of the colon should be removed.
  • Crohn’s disease- Patients may find relief from symptoms of Crohn’s temporarily.
  • Diverticulitis
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Preventative – If you have a high risk of colon cancer (from the growth of several precancerous polyps), you may choose a preventative colectomy.


Jennifer reported that she knew what to expect along the entire journey. Each doctor explained their procedures thoroughly, letting her ask questions.

“My recovery was swift and pain-free thanks to the da Vinci system and NOTES. I would recommend it to anyone needing surgery and I would highly recommend Dr. Zhang and Dr. Kowalski to do the surgery. They are the best surgeons in Las Vegas.”

If you are in need of cancer treatment, Nevada Surgery and Cancer Care offers procedures for gynecologic cancers and conditions as well as colon, and bowel conditions. To make an appointment for the consultation, visit our website for more information.

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