Smarter Decisions,
Better Care

UpToDate synthesizes the most recent medical information into evidence-based practical recommendations clinicians trust to make the right point-of-care decisions.

  • Rigorous editorial process: Evidence-based treatment recommendations
  • World-Renowned physician authors: over 5,100 physician authors and editors around the globe
  • Innovative technology: integrates into the workflow; access from EMRs

Choose from the list below to learn more about subscriptions for a:

Subscribers log in here

Right and extended right colectomy: Open technique

Topic Outline



Right colectomy refers to the resection of a portion of the distal ileum, cecum, ascending colon, and proximal to mid-transverse colon. Extended right hemicolectomy refers to extension of the distal resection margin to include the distal transverse colon up to the splenic flexure.

The techniques used to perform right and extended right colectomy are reviewed here. Left colectomy is presented separately. (See "Left colectomy: Open technique".)


The colon and rectum occupy the retroperitoneal and intraperitoneal spaces, in close approximation to solid organs (figure 1). The ascending and descending colon are retroperitoneal, while the transverse colon, which extends from the hepatic flexure to the splenic flexure, is intraperitoneal. The sigmoid colon continues from the descending colon, ending where the teniae converge to form the rectum.

Arterial supply — The right colic artery and the ileocolic artery provide the principle blood supply to the right colon (figure 2). The marginal artery of Drummond and the arc of Riolan provide collateral blood vessels. Typically, the blood supply of the transverse colon is excellent provided the marginal artery is not damaged. Variability in the arterial anastomoses occurs, which is an important point when performing a segmental resection. The two most tenuous sites and the corresponding arterial supplies are the splenic flexure (Griffith’s point) and distal descending colon (Sudeck’s point). (See "Overview of intestinal ischemia in adults", section on 'Intestinal vascular anatomy'.)

Venous and lymphatic drainage — The venous drainage of the right colon is through the superior mesenteric vein (figure 3). The lymphatics drain via the corresponding arterial supply (figure 4).


Subscribers log in here

To continue reading this article, you must log in with your personal, hospital, or group practice subscription. For more information or to purchase a personal subscription, click below on the option that best describes you:
Literature review current through: Nov 2014. | This topic last updated: Sep 12, 2014.
The content on the UpToDate website is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your own physician or other qualified health care professional regarding any medical questions or conditions. The use of this website is governed by the UpToDate Terms of Use ©2014 UpToDate, Inc.