Small bowel resection - Overview
Small intestine surgery; Bowel resection - small intestine; Resection of part of the small intestine; Enterectomy
Definition of Small bowel resection:
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:
- You will have three to five small cuts in your lower belly. The surgeon will pass a camera and medical instruments through these cuts.
- You may also have a cut of about 2 to 3 inches if your surgeon needs to put a hand inside your belly to feel the intestine or remove the diseased segment.
- Your belly will be filled with gas to expand it. This makes it easy for the surgeon to see and work.
If you have open surgery, you will probably have a cut about 6 inches long in your mid-belly.
- Your surgeon will locate the part of your small intestine that is diseased.
- Then your surgeon will put clamps on both ends of this part to close it off.
- The surgeon will remove the diseased part.
In both kinds of surgery:
- If there is enough healthy small intestine left, your surgeon will sew or staple the healthy ends of the small intestine back together. Most patients have this done.
- If you do not have enough healthy small intestine to reconnect, your surgeon will make an opening called a stoma through the skin of your belly. Your small intestine will be attached to the outer wall of your belly. Stool will go through the stoma into a drainage bag outside your body. This is called an ileostomy. The ileostomy may either be short-term or permanent.
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.
Why the Procedure Is Performed:
Small bowel resection may be recommended for:
- Reviewed last on: 1/24/2011
- Shabir Bhimji, MD, PhD, Specializing in General Surgery, Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Midland, TX. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Fry RD, Mahmoud N, Maron DJ, Ross HM, Rombeau J. Coln and rectum. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 50.
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