Small Bowel Resection

A small bowel resection can help restore the functioning of your gastrointestinal system if an injury or disease is affecting your ability to digest food and obtain nutrients.

Here’s more about what’s involved in small bowel resection and how to contact Advanced Laparoscopic Associates if you think you may need this surgery.

What Is Small Bowel Resection?

Small bowel resection is a procedure in which a surgeon removes a diseased or damaged part of your small bowel or intestine. In some instances, nearby tissues, such as your appendix, may also need to be removed.

This surgery aims to restore the normal functioning of your gastrointestinal system and prevent certain gastrointestinal conditions from worsening and contributing to problems like malnutrition.

Reasons to Have This Procedure

You may need small bowel resection surgery if you have a severe gastrointestinal condition that isn’t responding to nonsurgical treatments such as medications and diet modification.

Gastrointestinal conditions that may require small bowel resection surgery include:

  • Polyps, tumors, or cancerous growths in the small intestine
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Hernia
  • Obstruction in the small intestine
  • Trauma to the small intestine
  • Congenital disorders of the gastrointestinal tract
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis—a condition that causes tissues in the intestine to die.

How Is Small Bowel Resection Surgery Performed?

Small bowel resection surgery may be performed as a laparoscopic surgery, open surgery, or robotic surgery.

During laparoscopic surgery, a series of tiny incisions will be made on your abdomen near the small intestine. Then, your surgeon will insert small surgical instruments into these incisions to perform the surgery—including a tiny camera that provides a clear view of your insides. Laparoscopic surgery is far less invasive than open surgery and has the added benefits of less downtime, faster recovery, and fewer complications.

During open surgery, one long incision is made across your abdomen to access the small intestine. This surgical method is usually only performed if you are not eligible for laparoscopic or robotic surgery.

Robotic surgery is highly similar to laparoscopic surgery, except robotic arms and instruments are used instead of human hands to access areas that may otherwise be difficult to reach.

Regardless of the method used to perform your surgery, you will receive local or general anesthesia to avoid feeling any pain during the procedure. After the diseased tissues are removed from your gastrointestinal tract, your surgeon will close and cover your incisions with dressings.


Recovery from small bowel resection can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the surgical method used. The recovery period after laparoscopic or robotic surgery is usually far shorter than after open surgery.

Small bowel resection may require a hospital stay of between three and seven days. You will be provided with food and nutrients through a tube—a process known as enteral nutrition. This is done to allow your intestine to heal. After you leave the hospital, you will need plenty of rest for several days to promote healing.

Diarrhea is normal following a small bowel resection, as your stomach contents may move more quickly through your small intestine after part of it is removed.

Contact your surgeon right away if you are experiencing any of the following after small bowel resection:

  • Constipation, or difficulty having a bowel movement
  • Frequent nausea and vomiting
  • Pus or blood oozing from your incisions
  • Pain that doesn’t go away even when taking medications
  • Infection at the incision site

Your surgeon can talk to you in greater detail about what to expect after having this surgery.

Advanced Laparoscopic Associates offers bariatric and general surgeries, including small bowel resection surgery. Contact us today to request an appointment if you need of small bowel resection.

Call (201) 646-1121 today and schedule your consultation with one of our surgeons!


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