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Small Bowel Surgery (General)

Underlying Problem Requiring Small Bowel Surgery:
One of the most common surgeries performed on the small bowel is a resection. Resection happens when a surgeon removes a segment of the small bowel. Patients may find that this type of major surgery is required in the treatment of several diseases and disorders of the digestive tract.


Treatment through small bowel surgery will depend on several factors, including not only the type of disease or condition being treated, but also the area of the small bowel where the surgery will be performed. All or part of various structures may be removed in the course of a duodenectomy, ileectomy, or jejunectomy. The procedure can be performed either as an open surgery or laparoscopically.

Before the surgery, a patient will be given a number of tests to determine if the surgery is the appropriate course of action. If so, then he or she will need to clean the bowel with both a clear liquid diet and the use of laxatives. Doctors may also prescribe a round of antibiotics to limit the amount of bacteria in the small bowel that can cause contamination during and after the surgery.

Recovery from Small Bowel Surgery:

When the patient wakes from anesthesia, he or she will likely be prescribed pain medication. He or she will be monitored and will learn how to care for the wound. A tube will be in place to help suction and drain the bowel while the body heals. The patient will get nutrition intravenously at first, and a regular diet will be reintroduced at the doctor\'s discretion. Physical activity will be restricted, and the healthcare team will work with the patient to ensure that as healing progresses, so too does the ability to perform regular daily functions.

Small bowel surgery may be indicated for a variety of diseases and disorders, including:
  • Crohn\'s Disease
  • Ulcers
  • Injuries
  • Precancerous Polyps
  • Cancer
  • Intestinal Obstructions

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