Several disease processes can affect the small bowel (intestine). The most common being obstructions. Other small bowel diseases include tumors or masses, Adhesions ( from previous surgery), infections, abscesses, inflammatory bowel disease
Robotic bowel surgery involves cutting “Scar tissue” (Adhesions), removing the diseased part of the intestines, draining infections and reconnecting the intestines together.
What is the Small Bowel?
The small bowel (intestine) is part of the digestive system. We have approximately 450-600cm(14-19 ft.) of small intestines. Its function is to absorb most ingested food by producing a digestive juice that mixes with bile to complete the breakdown of proteins, carbs, and fats. It is responsible for absorbing nutrients from food into the bloodstream to be absorbed by the body. Having a proper function of the small intestine is essential for absorption of nutrients.
What happens if the small bowel does not function?
When the small bowel (intestine) does not function properly, many problems can occur. The small intestine can stop absorbing nutrients or it does not have enough water to carry out normal functions. The small intestine lacks enough energy to perform its functions. When the small intestine can’t work well or stops working it prevents the stomach’s ability to move food in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
Symptoms of Small bowel Diseases
Most common symptoms include:
Failure to pass gas
Failure to have bowel movements
Small bowel obstructions are a serious condition and can require emergency surgery.
Reasons for Small Bowel Surgery
A need for surgical resection (small bowel surgery) may happen for several reasons, including:
A blocked intestine caused by scar tissue or congenital (from birth) flaws
Bleeding, infection, or ulcers caused by inflammation of the small intestine from conditions such as Crohn’s disease
Strangulated intestinal hernia (internal hernia, volvulus)
Small bowel ischemia (Bowel death due to lack of blood flow)
Injuries to the small intestine such as a twist or tangling or perforation
Meckel diverticulum (a pouch on the wall of the lower part of the intestine that is present at birth)
Noncancerous (benign) tumors
Some of these conditions are very serious and can require emergency surgery. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the above symptoms and especially if you have had previous abdominal surgery.
Surgery usually involves removing the affected sections of the small bowel (intestine) and re-joining the healthy parts with the resected ends. The length of the small bowel (intestine), is part of the reason a surgical resection is generally without significant compromise to the gastrointestinal (GI) system function.