Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Department of Colorectal Surgery

Colorectal Surgery

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Small bowel resection

Small bowel resection is an operation to remove a segment of the small bowel. It is commonly performed when a loop ileostomy is closed, for Crohn's disease, or in some cases of trauma, obstructed hernia or tumours of the small bowel.

It can be performed 'open' with an incision in the abdominal wall or laparoscopically, commonly called 'key hole surgery'.

After the ends of the small bowel are removed, along with their blood supply, the two ends of bowel are joined together (anastomosed) with stitches or stapling devices.

It is uncommon to require a bag or stoma in association with a small bowel resection, and if it is required is usually associated with some emergency situations and when the patient is very unhealthy.

The risks associated with a small bowel resection can be related but not limited to the wounds (wound infection, hernia), the bowel join (leakage, bleeding), and to the patient's heart (arrhythmia), lungs (infection), kidneys and urinary system and the venous system (deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary emboli).

Pain relief is well organised after the procedure by the hospitals anaesthetic department. Fluids and return to a normal diet are determined by your doctors' usual protocol and your individual circumstances.

It is best to discuss more details regarding your specific case with your doctor.


Reviewed 2017