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Bowel Resection Information

From the Pelvic Floor Articles List

What do I need to know about a Bowel ResectionI may be facing a bowel resection. What do I need to know?


The bowel is made up of the large and small intestine. A bowel resection can be done to either section if there is disease or damaged tissue. The surgery can be done during a laparoscopy or as an open (laparotomic) procedure.

A large bowel resection, or colectomy, may be necessary to treat diverticulitis, infection, bowel obstruction, endometriosis, volvulus, intussusception, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s disease. It may also be necessary for certain precancerous polyps or colon cancer. In some cases, a prophylactic colectomy may be recommended when there are genetic mutations which suggest a higher risk for developing colon cancer.

A small bowel resection may be needed in cases of an obstruction, infection, ulcer, tumor, Meckel’s diverticulum, precancerous polyp, or cancer. Inflammation caused by regional ileitis, enteritis or Crohn’s disease may also lead to a small bowel resection.

When the diseased portion of the bowel is removed, the healthy ends are then stapled or sewn together. At times this cannot be done, so a temporary or permanent means of bypassing that portion of the bowel is necessary. To do this, an opening in the abdominal wall (stroma) is made and a bag is attached on the outside of the abdomen.

Hospital stay, dietary restrictions, and activity limitations will depend on the type and extent of your bowel resection. Risks can also depend on your specific circumstances but may include infection, inhibited bowel function, bleeding, blood clots, injury to surrounding tissues, wound issues, and reactions to medications or anesthesia.

Because of the seriousness of these surgeries, it is important to seek a second opinion before scheduling. You should also carefully weigh the benefits versus the risks and explore any less invasive options which might be available for you and your situation.


This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

09-20-2014 - 03:37 PM


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