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Small bowel resection - discharge

Small intestine surgery - discharge; Bowel resection - small intestine - discharge; Resection of part of the small intestine - discharge; Enterectomy - discharge

You had surgery to remove all or part of your small intestine (small bowel). You may also have had an ileostomy.

When You're in the Hospital

During and after surgery, you received intravenous (IV) fluids. You also may have had a tube placed through your nose and into your stomach. You may have received antibiotics.

What to Expect at Home

You may have these problems after you return home from the hospital:

Self-care

Follow your health care provider's instructions for how to take care of yourself at home.

Activity:

Your doctor will give you pain medicines to take at home.

Press a pillow over your incision when you need to cough or sneeze. This helps ease the pain.

Ask your doctor when you should begin taking your regular medicines again after surgery.

Wound Care

If your staples have been removed, you will probably have small pieces of tape placed across your incision. These pieces of tape will fall off on their own. If your incision was closed with a dissolving suture, you may have had glue covering the incision. This glue will loosen and will come off on its own. Or, it can be peeled off after a few weeks.

Ask your provider when you can shower or soak in a bathtub.

If you have a dressing, your doctor will tell you how often to change it and when you can stop using it.

Do not wear tight clothing that rubs against your wound while it is healing. Use a thin gauze pad over it to protect it if needed.

If you have an ileostomy, follow care instructions from your provider.

Diet

Eat small amounts of food several times a day. Do not eat 3 big meals. You should:

Some foods may cause gas, loose stools, or constipation as you recover. Avoid foods that cause problems.

If you become sick to your stomach or have diarrhea, call your provider.

If you have hard stools:

Talk to your provider if you have questions about ileostomy and your diet.

Returning to Work

Return to work only when you feel ready to. These tips may help:

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor if you have any of the following:

Related Information

Small bowel resection
Crohn disease
Intestinal obstruction and Ileus
Colorectal cancer
Surgical wound care - open
Bland diet
Ileostomy and your child
Ileostomy and your diet
Ileostomy - caring for your stoma
Ileostomy - changing your pouch
Types of ileostomy
Ileostomy - discharge
Getting out of bed after surgery
Crohn disease - discharge
Low-fiber diet
Full liquid diet
Ileostomy - what to ask your doctor
Wet-to-dry dressing changes

References

Elmously A, Yeo HL. Management of small bowel obstruction. In: Cameron JL, Cameron AM, eds. Current Surgical Therapy. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:129-132.

Harris JW, Evers BM. Small intestine. In: Townsend CM Jr, 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 49.

Smith SF, Duell DJ, Martin BC, Gonzalez L, Aebersold M. Perioperative care. In: Smith SF, Duell DJ, Martin BC, Gonzalez L, Aebersold M, eds. Clinical Nursing Skills: Basic to Advanced Skills. 9th ed. New York, NY: Pearson; 2017:chap 26.

Yeo HL, Michelassi F, Management of Crohn's disease of the small bowel. In: Cameron JL, Cameron AM, eds. Current Surgical Therapy. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:129-132.

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Review Date: 9/28/2020  

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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