Physicians recommend a small intestinal resection, colon resection, or colectomy surgeries in response to severe inflammatory bowel disease or colon cancer. These procedures, which include removal of some section of the intestines are performed to minimize the disease progression and stop bleeding. Depending on the symptoms of the disease, the length of time required for an intestinal surgery recovery may vary among patients.
Factors influencing an intestinal surgery recovery
An intestinal surgery is commonly grouped as a medium-level surgery. It involves invasive techniques, as doctors are required to see the intestine or colon condition through a lesion. Compared to other types of surgeries, a bladder stone surgery, for instance, an intestinal surgery cannot be done without cutting open the skin. While the former may be done through the use of laser, the latter still require the “traditional” invasive techniques. As a result, patients’ recovery will be much longer. To define how much time needed for an intestinal surgery recovery, patients need to put these things into consideration:
- The type of surgeries and how invasive the treatments were.
- Individual physical ability to recover from wounds, since most of all types of intestinal surgeries involve cuts and lesions, which in fact, are open wounds to heal.
- Other medical problems, such as allergies, high blood pressure, or weakened immune system.
- Complications after surgeries.
Intestinal surgery recovery time
Intestinal surgeries may be performed to either the small or large intestines—also called colon. When the surgeon performs an intestinal surgery to the small intestines, faster recovery time is required compared to those performed to the colon. Patients undergoing a small intestine surgery commonly experienced mild pain at the incision site. Proper treatment of this incision site will determine the length of recovery time. This open wound needs to be bandages and the bandage needs to keep clean at all time. Patients are usually able to get out of the bed within 10 to 24 hours after the surgery, depending on how large and deep the incision is. Those without any other medical issues do not commonly experience any inhibited wound healing, so that they are going to fully recover within the next 3 to 4 weeks.
Quite differently, intestinal surgeries performed to the colon or large intestine may take longer recovery time. This is possible, since the surgery may involve the removal of some or all part of the colon, depending on the severity of the symptoms. The lesion in colon intestinal surgery is generally larger and thus, deeper than the one in small intestinal one. However, if the patients do not experience any post-operative complications, full recovery can be reached within 10 to 12 weeks after the performed surgery. The first thing to consider after a colon surgery is healing the resulted incision. To do this, keeping the gauze clean and changing it regularly are a couple of the most essential things to do. It is also important to pay attention to diet you are taking after a colon surgery. Full liquid diet is recommended for the first few days after surgery. Once your bowel works properly, you might be able to change to soft foods. This is important, since a colon surgery affects the amount of flora in your large intestines, which are essential for proper digestion. Once you find out that no complications appear during the recovery time, you can introduce your usual foods. Within two weeks after the procedure, the doctor might ask you to see him, in order to check your blood pressure, wound healing, pulse, temperature, and respiration. The occurrence of complications or infection after a surgery procedure can be seen through this examination.
Patients with other medical issues, such as the auto-immune diseases, diabetes, and weakened immune system might be really attentive to their post-operative progress, as complications can easily occur.
- In the first few days, limit your activities and focus on some light activities and exercises. Avoid activities which require lifting as it may trigger incision-wound re-opening, which may end up in infection.
- Pay a close attention to the wound care. Avoid keeping the gauze in long period. Instead, change it regularly. Keeping the bandage clean is also essential.
- If you are consuming some medications for your other medical cares, talk to the doctor. Commonly, these medications should be stopped within the healing period. However, if you really need to take the medications, your doctor can possibly give a recommendation on how to take it safely during the recovery time.