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Small Bowel Resection

Hi folks. New to group. Meeting with surgeon to discuss small bowel resection. Laparoscopic to take out about 20cm near end of small intestine. I’ve got typical questions for dr but wondered if any of you who have had similar surgery were surprised by anything or if you have any advice for before or after surgery. Thanks!


Chief Dandelion Picker
Hiya: I haven’t been in the forum for years but (1) hi, and (2) I /did/ have an ileocolic resection in January.

What surprised me was the amount of damage that was found but also that the healing time is still roughly on schedule anyway. Between the CT scan showing fibrotic stricturing with no active inflammation and the surgery I developed severe inflammation and an ileo-sigmoid fistula. Surgery changed from laparoscopic to open (or “partially open” if you ask my surgeon). The fistula was taken down, a “grapefruit sized tangle of small bowel” was removed, lots of adhesions were cauterized, and a hernia was repaired (uh…ok then!). But seriously, the other surprise is that at 5 weeks after surgery I really am getting back to normal.

Re. request for advice:
- Be prepared for odd little things to potentially happen, like having apnea in the recovery room (falling asleep and stopping breathing repeatedly), or not being able to urinate for a couple of days (followed by getting an ultrasound every time you DO pee so they can make sure enough came out). Just know things can happen, but people will be watching out for you and will deal with it so matter of factly. The number of people deeply involved in my care and fully briefed on my case was astonishing: surgery fellows and residents, pain team, dietary, PT...it was incredible to experience, must say. (Not fun, but impressive.)
- Definitely hold a small pillow against your belly to cough, laugh, or get up from a seated position. (Laughing still hurts a bit btw.)
-Epidurals rock for pain control (although I had a rare side effect and became wildly dizzy for 4 days, my pain was a solid 0-3 the whole time).

Take good care!