Small bowel resection is surgery to remove part or all of your small bowel. It is done when part of your small bowel is blocked or diseased.
The small bowel is also called the small intestine. Most digestion (breaking down and absorbing nutrients) of the food you eat takes place in the small intestine.
You will receive general anesthesia at the time of your surgery. This will make you asleep and pain-free.
If you have laparoscopic surgery:
If you have open surgery, you will probably have a cut about 6 inches long in your mid-belly.
In both kinds of surgery:
Your surgeon may also look at lymph nodes and other organs in your belly area. Before surgery, the surgeon will talk with you about the possible need to remove other organs.
This surgery usually takes 1 to 4 hours.
Small bowel resection may be recommended for:
Risks for any surgery are:
Risks for this surgery include:
Always tell your doctor or nurse what drugs you are taking, even drugs, supplements, or herbs you bought without a prescription.
Talk with your doctor or nurse about these things before you have surgery:
During the 2 weeks before your surgery:
The day before your surgery:
On the day of your surgery:
You will be in the hospital for 3 to 7 days. You may have to stay longer if your surgery was an emergency operation.
You also may need to stay longer if a large amount of your small intestine was removed, or if you develop any other problems.
By the second or third day, you will most likely be able to drink clear liquids. Your doctor or nurse will slowly add thicker fluids and then soft foods as your bowel begins to work again.
If a large amount of your small intestine was removed, you may need to receive liquid nutrition through a vein (IV) for a period of time. First you will have a special intravenous line placed in the neck or upper chest area. This intravenous line can be used to deliver nutrition.
Most people who have a small bowel resection recover fully. Even with an ileostomy, most people are able to do most activities they were doing before their surgery. This includes most sports, travel, gardening, hiking, and other outdoor activities, and most types of work.
If a large part of your small intestine was removed, you may have problems with loose stools and getting enough nutrients from the food you eat.
If you have a chronic condition, such as cancer, Crohn disease or ulcerative colitis, you may need ongoing medical treatment.
Small intestine surgery; Bowel resection - small intestine; Resection of part of the small intestine; Enterectomy
Updated by: John A. Daller, MD, PhD, Department of Surgery, Crozer-Chester Medical Center, Chester, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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