The colon is the final section of the body’s digestive system, and is sometimes referred to as the large bowel or large intestine. Its function is to absorb water from digested food that has passed through the stomach and small intestine, and to hold onto the remaining waste material until that waste can exit the body. Conditions affecting the colon that may require surgery range from anal abscesses and cancers to bowel obstructions, colorectal cancer, Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, pilonidal disease, polyps and rectal prolapse, to name just a few. Many colon conditions may be addressed via minimally invasive surgery, also known as laparoscopic surgery, where the surgeon operates through very small incisions. Your doctor will discuss with you whether you are a candidate for a minimally invasive procedure or whether a traditional, “open” technique may be required in your individual case.