Colectomy / Subtotal Colectomy


Colectomy is partial or complete resection of the colon.


Colectomy is indicated for removal of colon tumors and treatment of severe colon problems such as intussusceptions or feline chronic consti-pation/obstipation.

Postoperative Care

Pain medication is generally only required for the first 5 to 7 days following surgery. Give pain medication only as prescribed and do not give human drugs without first consulting with a veterinarian. Other medications may be prescribed, depending on your pet’s medical condition and diagnosis. If vomiting is consistently observed following medication, contact our surgical staff.

Any good quality adult cat food will usually be acceptable for feline patients recovering from surgery. A high fiber food, such as Hill’s WD diet often works well. Diarrhea is to be expected for several weeks to several months until the bowel accommodates for loss of the colon. Diarrhea should progressively decrease in severity, however. Stools may always be softer than they were preoperatively.

The pet should be confined to the house, and exercise should be limited to short leash walks until the sutures are removed. Vigorous activity, such as running, jumping, and playing with other pets, should be discouraged for at least three weeks.

Please observe your pets for any of the following problems:

  • Repeated vomiting
  • Severe lethargy, listlessness, or anorexia
  • Swelling, redness, or discharge from incision
  • Abdominal distension
  • Licking or chewing the incision
  • Persistent straining to defecate
  • Increased abdominal pain

Please schedule an appointment for suture removal 7 to 10 days after surgery. In addition, please contact us immediately if any of the above problems are noted or as instructed by our staff to treat the underlying medical condition. Please schedule a second follow-up examination in one month after surgery to evaluate the healing process.


The prognosis for feline chronic constipation/obstipation is generally good following subtotal colectomy. The prognosis for other surgical conditions of the large intestine depends upon the underlying medical condition. Potential complications may include infection, fecal incontinence, wound dehiscence, peritonitis, and stricture.

Your pet’s recovery and well-being are our primary concerns, so please do not hesitate to call and speak with a surgical technician or surgeon if there are any questions regarding your pet’s recovery.