This material must not be used for commercial purposes, or in any hospital or medical facility. Failure to comply may result in legal action.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Bowel resection is surgery to remove all or parts of the small or large intestine (bowel). This is done to treat conditions such as intestinal bleeding, blockages, inflammation, or infections. It may also be done to remove large polyps (growths) or early signs of tumors in the intestines. The amount of intestine removed depends on the reason this surgery is needed. An ileostomy or colostomy may also be made. This is an opening in the abdomen to drain bowel movement into a bag.
Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:
- You suddenly feel lightheaded and have shortness of breath.
- You have chest pain. You may have more pain when you take a deep breath or cough.
- You cough up blood.
Seek care immediately if:
- You have pus or a foul-smelling odor coming from your incision.
- Your abdomen becomes tender and hard.
- Your bowel movements are black or have blood in them.
- Your vomit is green, looks like coffee grounds, or has blood in it.
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
Call your surgeon or gastroenterologist if:
- You feel very full and you cannot burp or vomit.
- You have problems having a bowel movement or passing gas or urine.
- You have a fever.
- You have chills, a cough, or feel weak and achy.
- You have nausea or vomiting.
- You are unable to have a bowel movement.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
You may need any of the following:
- Medicines may make it easier for you to have a bowel movement. You may need this medicine to treat or prevent constipation.
- Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
- Antibiotics help prevent or treat a bacterial infection.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
- Keep your wound clean and dry. When you are allowed to bathe or shower, carefully wash the incision with soap and water. Afterwards, put on clean, new bandages. Change your bandages any time they get wet or dirty. Ask for more information about wound care.
- Prevent constipation. High-fiber foods, extra liquids, and regular exercise can help you prevent constipation. Examples of high-fiber foods are fruit and bran. Prune juice and water are good liquids to drink. Regular exercise helps your digestive system work.
- Eat healthy foods. Choose healthy foods from all the food groups every day. Include whole-grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and lean meat. Ask if you need to be on a special diet.
- Drink more liquids. Good liquids for most people include water, juice, and milk. Ask your healthcare provider how much liquid you should drink each day, and which liquids are best for you.
- Get more rest. Rest when you need to while you heal after surgery. Slowly start to do more each day. Return to your daily activities as directed.
Follow up with your surgeon or gastroenterologist as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
© Copyright IBM Corporation 2021 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health
The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.