Type of Surgery
Last updated: 11/24/2009
Bowel resection can be performed using an open surgical approach (colectomy) or laparoscopically.
Following adequate bowel preparation, the patient is placed under general anesthesia, which ensures that the patient...
is deep asleep and pain free during surgery. Because the effects of gravity to displace tissues and organs away from the site of operation are important, patients are carefully positioned, padded, and strapped to the operating table to prevent movement as the patient is tilted to an extreme degree. The surgeon starts the procedure by making a lower midline incision in the abdomen or, alternatively, he may prefer to perform a lateral lower transverse incision instead. He proceeds with the removal of the diseased portion of the large intestine, and then sutures or staples the two healthy ends back together before closing the incision. The amount of bowel removed can vary considerably, depending on the reasons for the operation. When possible, the procedure is performed to maintain the continuity of the bowel so as to preserve normal passage of stool. If the bowel has to be relieved of its normal digestive work while it heals, a temporary opening of the colon onto the skin of abdominal wall, called a colostomy, may be created. In this procedure, the end of the colon is passed through the abdominal wall and the edges are sutured to the skin. A removable bag is attached around the colostomy site so that stool may pass into the bag, which can be emptied several times during the day. Most colostomies are temporary and can be closed with another operation at a later date. However, if a large portion of the intestine is removed, or if the distal end of the colon is too diseased to reconnect to the proximal intestine, the colostomy is permanent.
Laparoscopic bowel resection
The benefits of laparoscopic bowel resection when compared to open colectomies include reduced postoperative pain, shorter hospitalization periods, and a faster return to normal activities. The procedure is also minimally invasive. When performing a laparoscopic procedure, the surgeon makes three to four small incisions in the abdomen or in the umbilicus (belly button). He inserts specialized surgical instruments, including a thin, telescope-like instrument called a laparoscope, in an incision. The abdomen is then filled with gas, usually carbon dioxide, to help the surgeon view the abdominal cavity. A camera is inserted through one of the tubes and displays images on a monitor located near the operating table to guide the surgeon as he works. Once an adequate view of the operative field is obtained, the actual dissection of the colon can start. Following the procedure, the small incisions are closed with sutures or surgical tape.
All colon surgery involves only three maneuvers that may vary in complexity depending on the region of the bowel and the nature of the disease. These three maneuvers are:
- retraction of the colon
- division of the attachments to the colon
- dissection of the mesentery
In a typical procedure, after retracting the colon, the surgeon proceeds to divide the attachments to the liver and the small bowel. Once the mesenteric vessels have been dissected and divided, the colon is divided with special stapling devices that close off the bowel while at the same time cutting between the staple lines. Alternatively, a laparoscopically assisted procedure may be selected, in which a small abdominal wall incision is made at this point to bring the bowel outside of the abdomen, allowing open bowel resection and reconnection using standard instruments. This technique is popular with many surgeons because an incision must be made to remove the bowel specimen from the abdomen, which allows the most time-consuming and risky parts of the procedure (from an infection point of view) to be done outside the body with better control of the colon.
The video is an animation of the LapBand adjustable gastric banding system. There is an explanation of how the LapBand's adjustable cuff works to meet the changing needs of the patient.
A bowel resection is a surgical procedure in which a part of the large or small intestine is removed.
The preferred type of bowel resection involves removal of the diseased portion of intestine, and surgically re-joining the remaining ends. In this procedure, the continuity of the bowel is maintained and normal passage of stool is preserved. When deemed necessary by the surgeon, the diseased portion of the bowel may be removed, and the functioning end of the intestine may be brought out onto the surface of the abdomen, forming an temporary or permanent ostomy. Use of the large intestine to form the ostomy results in a colostomy; use of small intestine to form the ostomy results in an ileostomy.
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