Small Bowel Resection

Bowel resection surgery involves removing a piece of severely damaged or diseased bowel and connecting the two loose ends together.

Sometimes the two ends are stitched together so that they reform in a tube-like structure, and sometimes one end is stapled and a hole is made in the side where the other end attaches. The method used is dependent on the individual case, the severity of the resection, the skill level of the surgeon, and other factors.

The small bowel – also known as the small intestine – is the part of your gastrointestinal tract, that connects your stomach with the large intestines. The biological function of the small bowel is to extract nutrients and minerals from food.

Both large and small bowel can undergo the surgical procedure of bowel resection. However it is generally more easily performed on the small bowel than the large, due to its more pliable and flexible nature. Therefor, small bowel resection is a much more common surgical treatment of Chron’s disease.


Strictureplasty As An Alternative To Bowel Resection

Strictureplasty is a surgical procedure performed in response to scar tissue that has built up in the intestinal wall from inflammatory bowel conditions such as Crohn’s disease. This type of surgery is performed on one or more strictures of the small bowel. Large bowel strictureplasty is extremely rare due to the less flexible nature of the large intestine as opposed to the small intestine, but some doctors do perform large bowel strictureplasties.

The goal of a strictureplasty is to open up a stricture in the bowel without physically removing a portion of bowel and connecting the two loose ends together, which is known as a resection. This preserves the patient’s bowel length and is a less invasive option to resection.

The surgeon first slices the strictured segment of bowel length-wise and then pulls the opened section apart before stitching it back together the opposite way, cross-wise. This reforms the narrowed piece of bowel into a widened piece but does not actually decrease its length or remove tissue from the body.