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Can a person live a healthy life after removal of the ileocecal valve?

Answered by
Dr. Grzegorz Stanko

General Surgeon

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 5770 Questions

Posted on Thu, 13 Dec 2012 in Colon Cancer
Question: I have to have a right sided hemicolectomy. (a 4cm flat polp was found on my cecum.) This entails removal of the ilececal valve. I have heard that people have had this done and live good lives. My concern is, this valve stops bad bacteria from entering the small intestines. After the procedure, how can I live a healthy life, if bad bacteria is sometimes going into my small intestines. Isn't there going to be infections sometimes in my small intestine?
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 4 hours later

Thank you for the query.

Ileocecal valve function is to prevent stool reflux from large intestine to small intestine. It has nothing to do with bacteria. Try to imagine that when the stool gets to the large intestine it has to get upward against the gravity (as the ascending colon goes up), this valve helps to keep the stool in large intestine. Bacterias are very very small comparing to this valve. They are everywhere including the stool. And if the stool passes through this valve, it takes all this bacteria with it. So even with this valve the bacterias can migrate freely and this valve is not a bound at all.
So you have nothing to worry about. Right sided hemicolectomy gives great comfort of life and you may live like there was no surgery at all.

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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