Small bowel resection
Small bowel resection is surgery to remove part of your small bowel, which is located between your stomach and large bowel (large intestine). The small bowel is also called the small intestine. It is where most digestion occurs.
Small bowel resection is done while you are under general anesthesia (unconscious and pain-free). The surgeon makes a cut in the abdomen and removes the diseased parts of the small intestine. The two healthy ends of the intestine are sewn or stapled back together (resected). The cut in the abdomen is closed.
To help the small intestine heal, a procedure called an ostomy may be done. An opening (stoma) is for the intestine is created through the abdominal wall. The healthy end of the intestine near the stomach is moved through the abdominal wall and stitched in place. A drainage bag (also called a stoma appliance) is placed around the opening.
In most cases, the stoma is temporary and can be closed with another operation at a later date. If a large part of the bowel is removed, the stoma may be permanent.
The small intestine normally absorbs fluid from food. With an ostomy, you will have liquid stool (feces) collect in the drainage bag. The frequent drainage of liquid stool can cause the skin around the ostomy to become red and swollen. Careful skin care and a well-fitting stoma appliance can reduce this irritation.
Small bowel resection may be recommended for the following:
- A block in the intestine due to scar tissue or deformities
- Bleeding, infection, or ulcers due to inflammation of the small intestine (regional ileitis, regional enteritis, Crohn's disease)
- Precancerous polyps
- Benign tumors
Risks for any anesthesia include:
- Reactions to medications
- Problems breathing
Risks for any surgery include:
- Intestinal leaks
Additional risks include:
- Bulging through the wound (incisional hernia)
- Narrowing (stricture) of the opening (stoma)
- Blockage (obstruction) of the intestine from scar tissue
The outcome depends on the disease process being treated.
How long the patient stays in the hospital depends on the specific hernia, the type of surgery, and the patient's overall health.
Reviewed By: J.A. Lee, M.D., Assistant Professor of Surgery, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.