Bowel Resection

A bowel resection is a surgery to remove any part of the bowel. This may include the small intestine, large intestine or rectum.

You may require a bowel resection for one of the following reasons:

  • Cancer – the amount of bowel your surgeon removes depends on the size and location of the cancer. Usually, it’s about one-quarter to one-third of the colon. The surgeon will take out nearby lymph nodes and blood supply to the colon
  • Crohn’s disease – Surgery is reserved for when medical management fails or to treat the complications of the disease. A bowel resection isn’t a cure for Crohn’s disease as 20% of patients have a recurrence after two years
  • Diverticulitis – you may need surgery for complications, such as severe  infection or perforation
  • Blockage – when your intestine becomes blocked, food and liquid can’t pass
  • Severe bleeding – if doctors can’t stop a bowel bleed, they may need to remove that section of the intestine

Bowel resection surgery options

Open resection your surgeon makes one long cut on the abdomen.

Laparoscopic resection your surgeon makes small cuts (incisions) on the abdomen. They’ll insert a thin tube with a tiny camera into one incision. This is called a laparoscope. It sends a picture to a monitor. The surgeon uses it to see inside the abdomen. They then pass small, special surgical tools through the other incisions to remove part of the intestine.