What Are the Side Effects of Bowel Removal Surgery?


Quick Answer

The side effects of bowel removal surgery include bleeding inside the belly, damage to nearby organs, problems with colostomy, wound infections, damage to the bladder, incisional hernia and scarring in the belly, notes the United States National Institutes of Health's MedlinePlus. A person may also experience side effects from anesthesia including breathing problems and reactions to medicines. Possible side effects of any surgery include blood clotting, heart attack and infection.

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Full Answer

Medically known as large bowel resection or colectomy, a bowel removal surgery is a procedure to remove all or part of the bowel, states MedlinePlus. Proctocolectomy is the removal of the entire colon while subtotal colectomy is the removal of part of the bowel.

Before the surgery, a patient gets anesthesia to induce sleep and make the procedure pain-free. A surgeon chooses a laparoscopic or an open surgery. Laparoscopic surgery involves using a tiny camera to see the belly and making three to five cuts for passing medical instruments. In open surgery, a surgeon makes a 6- to 8-inch cut in the lower belly, removes the diseased part and connects the healthy ends.

A person undergoes this procedure to treat colon cancer, diverticular disease and scarring in the intestine. Patients who undergo the operation in emergency cases stay in the hospital longer. A person may start drinking clear fluids by the second or third day.

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