Laparoscopic Surgery for the Small Intestine
THE SMALL INTESTINE
The small bowel, or the small intestine, is about 6 meters (20 feet) long. It is coiled in the center of the abdominal cavity. It starts at the stomach and ends at the colon. The small intestine is divided into 3 sections: Duodenum, Jejunum, and Ileum. The lining of the small intestine secretes a hormone called secretin, which stimulates the pancreas to produce digestive enzymes. This is where the most extensive part of digestion occurs. Most food products are absorbed in the small intestine.
SMALL INTESTINE RESECTION
A small intestine resection is the removal of part of the small intestine.
This procedure may be done for multiple reasons, including:
- Bleeding, infection, or ulcers in the small intestines
- Precancerous polyps
- Crohn’s disease
- Intestinal blockage
HOW IS LAPAROSCOPIC SMALL INTESTINE RESECTION PERFORMED?
- Under general anesthesia, so the patient is asleep throughout the procedure.
- Using a cannula (a narrow tube-like instrument), the surgeon enters the abdomen in the area of the belly-button. Your abdomen will be inflated with carbon dioxide gas to create a space to operate.
- A laparoscope (a tiny telescope) connected to a special camera is inserted through the cannula, giving the surgeon a magnified view of the patient’s internal organs on a monitor.
- Two to three cannulas are inserted for placement of instruments.
- The small intestine will be clamped above and below the diseased section. This section will be removed and the free ends of the intestine are joined together.
LYSIS OF ADHESIONS (CUTTING ADHESIONS)
Adhesions are scar tissue that forms within the body cavity, usually within the abdomen or pelvis. Adhesions develop naturally after surgery as part of the healing process, they can also develop after infection such as diverticulitis, or appendicitis. Adhesions can cause pain, obstruction of the bowel, and infertility. Cutting the adhesions may stop or reduce these problems.
ADVANTAGES OF LAPAROSCOPIC SURGERY
- Less postoperative pain
- Shorter hospital stay
- Faster return to a regular, solid food diet
- Quicker return to normal activities
- Better cosmetic results