What is large bowel resection for benign conditions:

Dr. Coolen - Diagram showing parts of the bowel

Diagram showing parts of the bowel

Large bowel surgery is where a part of the large bowel is removed for a benign condition.
Part of the bowel may need to be brought out onto the skin surface to form a stoma


This procedure will require anaesthetic.

What are the risks of this specific procedure?

There are risks and complications with this procedure.
They include but are not limited to the following:

General risks:

  • Infection can occur, requiring antibiotics and further treatment.
  • Bleeding could occur and may require a return to the operating room. Bleeding is more common if you have been taking blood thinning drugs such as
  • Warfarin, Asprin, Clopidogrel (Plavix or Iscover) or Dipyridamole (Persantin or Asasantin).
  • Small areas of the lung can collapse, increasing the risk of chest infection. This may need antibiotics and physiotherapy.
  • Increased risk in obese people of wound infection, chest infection, heart and lung complications, and thrombosis.
  • Heart attack or stroke could occur due to the strain on the heart
  • Blood clot in the leg (DVT) causing pain and swelling. In rare cases part of the clot may break off and go to the lungs.
  • Death as a result of this procedure is possible.

Specific risk:

  • Deep bleeding in the abdominal cavity could occur and this may need fluid replacement or further surgery.
  • There is a risk of leakage of the join up of the bowel which could cause serious infection in the abdomen and further surgery.
  • Rarely damage may occur to the ureter – the tube bringing the urine from the kidney to the bladder. This may need further surgery.
  • The bowel movement may be paralysed or blocked after surgery and this may cause buildup of fluid in the bowel with distension of the abdomen and vomiting. Further treatment may be necessary for this.
  • You may have difficulty passing urine and a catheter may need to be left indwelling in the bladder.
  • A weakness can occur in the wound with the development of a rupture.
  • In some people healing of the wound may be abnormal and the wound can be thickened and red, and the scar may be painful.
  • Adhesions (bands of scar tissue) may form and cause bowel obstruction. This can be a short term or a long term complication and may need further surgery.
  • The bowel actions may be much looser after the operation than before.
  • The specimen will need to be examined by the Pathologist and depending on his report further surgery may be necessary.
  • Increased risk in smokers of wound and chest infections, heart and lung complications and thrombosis.