Resection: An Explanation of Surgical Terminology

Understanding Why a Resection May Be Necessary

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Surgeon at Work. Photo: © Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Definition: Resection is the medical term for surgically removing part or all of a tissue, structure or organ.

A resection may be performed for a wide variety of reasons.  A resection may remove a tissue that is known to be cancerous or diseased, and surgery may treat or cure a disease process. 

One very common type of resection is a small bowel resection, a procedure where one or more segments of the small intestine is removed.

 For people who are experiencing colon problems in a specific area of the intestine, removing that area may make it possible for the colon to function normally after the healing process is complete. 

For another patient, they may be diagnosed with cancer in their colon.  Treatment for the cancer may include the surgical removal of the cancerous area and a margin of surrounding tissue.  This may be done as a treatment, or may be a cure for the problem.  

Resections can be performed on areas of the body other than the digestive tract, these two types of surgeries are just examples.  If there was a diseased area of the liver, a partial liver resection could be done to remove the bad tissue and leave the good and healthy tissue of the liver in place.  A lung resection would remove an area of diseased lung tissue. 

Also Known As: resect, resected, surgical resection, resection surgery,

Examples: When a mass was found on the patient's liver, the surgeon recommended a partial liver resection that would remove the mass but leave the majority of the liver untouched.

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