Bowel Resection: Everything You Need to Know


Any surgery that involves the removal of parts of the bowel is known as the bowel resection. It can be done in the stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, etc. 

Bowel Resection

Causes of Bowel Resection

Here are a few causes of bowel resection:

  1. Diverticulitis: The inflammation or infection can be the cause of severe discomfort to the patient. Resection removes the infected part.
  2. Cancer: In the case of colon cancer, the cancerous part is removed to stop further spread.
  3. Ulcerative colitis: It is an inflammation of the bowel. Surgery removes the inflamed part.
  4. Intestinal bleeding: Sometimes, when the patient meets an accident or develops a severe infection, a part or parts of the intestine needs to be removed. Removal of that part ensures that the bleeding and sepsis stop.
  5. Precancerous polyps: If the doctor notices some abnormal polyp growth in the bowel that can turn cancerous, he can suggest resection surgery.

Types of Surgeries

Bowel resection surgery is primarily of 3 types:

  1. Open resection surgery: The surgeon makes a cut of about 6-8 inches in the stomach depending upon the location of the pain point. Using the surgical tools, he removes and staples the parts. The process involves the removal of some lymph nodes too with the infected bowel parts.
  2. Laparoscopic surgery: The doctor makes two or three small incisions on the stomach. A tiny camera is inserted inside the stomach through him to figure out the exact infected part. Using the same puncture, surgical tools are also put inside the stomach and the surgery is done.
  3. Robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery: The doctor performs the surgery by maneuvering the small robotic hands inside the stomach. The camera on the robot’s hands guides the doctor about the infection.

Risk Factors

Some common risk factors involved with bowel resection surgery are:

  1. Incisional hernia: It occurs when the tissues come out through the surgical cut. 
  2. Bleeding: The bowel resection surgery can lead to severe bleeding if not done properly or if the sepsis develops.
  3. Blockage due to scar tissue: Since the surgery is done inside the intestine or stomach, scar tissue may form. This blocks the proper flow of the food and nutrients and causes subsequent problems.

Precautions After Surgery

Bowel resection surgery is a major operation. You should take proper precautions after it for speedy and safe recovery. Some of the must-take precautions are:

  1. Take a low-fiber diet for at least a month: Fiber needs intense digestion. As your stomach is recovering, stay away from fibrous foods to ease its burden.
  2. No heavy lifting: Do not indulge yourself in heavy lifting exercises. It can cause surgical sutures to open.
  3. Follow the full course of medicines: Doctors give antibiotics and pain medications to patients. Many commit the mistake of leaving out antibiotics after they feel a decrease in pain. An abrupt stoppage of antibiotics can lead to severe infection.

Bowel resection surgery is the last solution to several medical issues. There are many risk factors involved with this surgery. Proper precautions should be taken to have an infection-free recovery.


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