A bowel resection is a surgical procedure that involves removing part of the large or small intestine to treat a number of intestinal conditions such as colorectal cancer, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, intestinal blockage, precancerous polyps, or other benign tumors.
When this procedure is used to treat colorectal cancer, it could either be used to prevent the spread of cancer to other areas of the body or to remove tumors that may be causing blockage or bleeding in advanced disease.
Your doctor will decide when the procedure is needed. This procedure can be repeated if necessary.
In a bowel resection, part of the large or small intestine is removed.
Risks and precautions
In general, surgery and the use of anesthesia come with some risks that are associated with factors like your health condition and what the surgery involves. Side effects are very rare but can include trouble breathing, reactions to the anesthetic, bleeding, infection, scarring, and death.
Bowel resection is usually a straightforward and safe procedure. However, there are some risks of complications or side effects, including:
- blood clots
- damage to nearby tissues
- hernia (bulging tissue through the incision)
- scar tissue formation
It is important that you understand all the risks of complications and side effects of the procedure, and what you or your doctor can do to avoid them. Make sure that your doctor is aware of all your concerns.
Before the procedure
It is important that you fully understand what the procedure involves beforehand. Ask your doctor to explain the risks, benefits, and drawbacks of the procedure, and don't be shy to probe further until you are comfortable with your doctor's responses.
You may not be able to eat or drink before the procedure; follow the timing that your doctor recommended. In general, people are advised to not eat for 8 hours before the procedure; however, you may continue to drink clear liquids until 2 hours before the procedure.
Your doctor may instruct you to use enemas or laxatives to clean out your intestines. Make sure you follow their instructions.
If you are taking any prescription or over-the-counter (non-prescription) medications, supplements, or herbal products, make sure you inform your doctor or pharmacist. Ask them whether it is necessary for you to stop taking any of these medications and products before the procedure. It is also important to tell them if you have allergies to certain medications or have certain medical conditions.