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Intestinal obstruction repair

Repair of volvulus; Intestinal volvulus - repair; Bowel obstruction - repair

Intestinal obstruction repair is surgery to relieve a bowel obstruction. A bowel obstruction occurs when the contents of the intestines cannot pass through and exit the body. A complete obstruction is a surgical emergency.

Images

Intussusception - X-ray
Before and after small intestine anastomosis

Presentation

Intestinal obstruction (pediatric) - series
Intestinal obstruction repair - series

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Description

Intestinal obstruction repair is done while you are under general anesthesia. This means you are asleep and do not feel pain.

The surgeon makes a cut in your belly to see your intestines. Sometimes, the surgery can be done using a laparoscope, which means smaller cuts are used.

The surgeon locates the area of your intestine (bowel) that is blocked and unblocks it.

Any damaged parts of your bowel will be repaired or removed. This procedure is called bowel resection. If a section is removed, the healthy ends will be reconnected with stitches or staples. Sometimes, when part of the intestine is removed, the ends cannot be reconnected. If this happens, the surgeon will bring one end out through an opening in the abdominal wall. This may be done using a colostomy or ileostomy.

Why the Procedure Is Performed

This procedure is done to relieve a blockage in your intestine. A blockage that lasts for a long time can reduce or block blood flow to the area. This can cause the bowel to die.

Risks

Risks of anesthesia and surgery in general include:

Risks of this procedure:

After the Procedure

How long it takes to recover depends on your overall health and the type of operation.

Outlook (Prognosis)

The outcome is usually good if the obstruction is treated before bowel blood flow is affected.

People who have had many abdominal surgeries may form scar tissue. They are more likely to have bowel obstructions in the future.

Related Information

Intestinal obstruction and Ileus
Abdomen - swollen
Peritonitis
Adhesion
Cyst
Intussusception – children
Large bowel resection
Colostomy
Surgical wound care - open
Bland diet
Ileostomy and your diet
Ileostomy - caring for your stoma
Ileostomy - changing your pouch
Types of ileostomy
Ileostomy - discharge
When you have nausea and vomiting
Intestinal or bowel obstruction - discharge
Low-fiber diet
Changing your ostomy pouch
Ileostomy - what to ask your doctor

References

Gearhart SL, Kelley MP. Management of large bowel obstruction. In: Cameron AM, Cameron JL, eds. Current Surgical Therapy. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:202-207.

Mahmoud NN, Bleier JIS, Aarons CB, Paulson EC, Shanmugan S, Fry RD. Colon and rectum. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery: The Biological Basis of Modern Surgical Practice. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 51.

Mustain WC, Turnage RH. Intestinal obstruction. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology/Diagnosis/Management. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 123.

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Review Date: 3/5/2020  

Reviewed By: Debra G. Wechter, MD, FACS, general surgery practice specializing in breast cancer, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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