Colorectal surgery is a blanket term used for all the procedures performed to fix the damaged or diseased section of the lower intestinal tract of the digestive system. It can include various problems and health concerns like malformation, cancer, injury, tumour, infection, or other diseases. With increasing advancements in medical science, surgeons use various techniques to perform colorectal surgery in Singapore. In addition to open surgery, laparoscopic and robotic surgeries have become excessively common. 

During the surgery, the surgeon clears any obstruction, tumour, or tear in your lower gut so that you can return to your regular lifestyle. In some cases, they may have to create an ostomy (hole) on the outside of your body to remove the waste directly. After examining your condition and learning about your health history, the surgeon will decide on the right approach to surgery. 

Who are Not the Right Candidates for Colorectal Surgery? 

It is vital to mention that not all patients suffering from colorectal diseases or infections are qualified for surgery. Your surgeon may not recommend operating you if. 

  • You have disrupted lung function. 

  • You have significant pulmonary or cardiac diseases. 

  • You have extensive disease, for instance, if your cancer has metastasized. 

How to Prepare for Colorectal Surgery 

Colorectal surgery is a vital procedure that requires preparation to witness successful outcomes. It is advisable to follow all the instructions imparted by your surgeon prior to the procedure. Here’s how you can prepare for the surgery. 

Do not Smoke 

Your surgeon will strictly recommend you avoid smoking before a few weeks of your surgery. Quitting smoking before the surgery will reduce your risk of developing breathing problems after it. Smoking has negative impacts on wound healing. Therefore, you should do away with this habit to witness the best results. 

Do not Consume Alcohol 

Before colorectal surgery in Singapore, your surgeon will ask you to reduce or stop the consumption of alcohol. Quitting alcohol will keep infections and complications at bay.

Indulge in Exercise 

You can indulge in exercise or any physical activity like walking, aerobics, resistance workouts, cycling, yoga, and more. These exercises can reduce surgical complications and shorten the recovery time. 

Change your Diet 

In addition to the above-listed lifestyle changes, your surgeon will recommend you change your diet and include healthy food items comprising proteins, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and other nutrients. A healthy diet helps improve the outcomes of the surgery and ensures quick recovery. 

Other Tips 

Your surgeon will recommend other important things to help you prepare for colorectal surgery, such as taking antibiotics, adjusting your medications, cleansing your bowel, or other treatments specific to your health condition. 

What to Expect from the Surgery? 

Any colorectal surgery is a major surgical procedure performed under general anaesthesia. Depending on the gravity of your condition, the surgeon will choose an open or minimally invasive procedure to treat you. They will place intravenous catheters to give you medications during the surgery. They will also place a tube in your throat so that you can breathe properly while under sedation. 

Either option can take several hours to complete. Once the effects of sedation are gone, you will be moved to a regular room. After the surgery, you will be asked to stay in the hospital for the next few days. 

Recovery after the Surgery 

Depending on the kind of surgical procedure performed, the recovery time may vary. In general, abdominal surgeries may require a hospital stay for a few days, while anal and rectal surgeries have shorter recovery time. You will notice improvement in your condition within a few days of the procedure. 

Your doctor will give suggestions regarding your diet, movement, and other habits during the recovery period. Managing pain is critical after the surgery. The healthcare team will work with you to address your concerns. You will also be given antibiotics and other forms of medication. Ensure to follow all the suggestions of your doctor for a quick and healthy recovery. 

What are the Risks Associated with Colorectal Surgery? 

Like other surgeries, colorectal surgery has some risks associated with it, including surgical site infections, leaks at the connection side, post-operative bleeding, ileus or lack of movement in the intestines, and more. 

If you experience any of these disturbances in your health, contact your surgeon as soon as possible. They will check you and suggest the best solution to address these adverse effects. 


Feeling nervous about any surgery is a common human reaction. Thus, it would be fair to talk to your surgeon openly about the pros, cons, risks, and the recovery time of the surgery. It will help you learn more about the procedure and prepare you well.